In general, housing is considered affordable if residents are paying no more than 30 percent of their income on housing expenses (including utilities). More affordable housing is generally considered to be a part of the solution to the current difficult situation for low income renters. As such, various incentives and subsidies exist to encourage the development of affordable housing units for which rents are capped at a certain level.
Source: State of Nevada Housing Division
Affordable housing units per 1,000 in Clark Co. in 2019
Affordable housing units per 1,000 in Washoe Co. in 2019
Affordable housing units per 1,000 in the U.S. in 2019
Subsidized affordable housing in Southern Nevada continues to dwindle
Southern Nevada's affordable housing issue has transformed quite dramatically over the past decade. Coming out of the recession, housing prices were such that a shortage in the number of subsidized housing units was masked. In fact, from 2011 through most of 2013, more than 75 percent of the homes sold in Southern Nevada were affordable to a median income family, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). However, as housing prices in the region shot up faster than anywhere in the country, the lack of subsidized affordable units has been characterized by housing advocates as a crisis.
In Clark County, the number of affordable housing units per 1,000 residents has decreased each year since 2014, hitting a 6-year low in 2019. The region also has remained significantly behind both Washoe County and the national average of subsidized affordable housing units per 1,000 residents over the same period.
Despite consistent population growth in recent years, the total number of subsidized affordable units in the region has decreased by more than 1,200 since 2014 (see chart at right).
When looking at specifically at affordable rental housing for extremely low-income renters, both the Las Vegas metro region and state are among the worst in the nation, according to an annual report produced by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Las Vegas ranks last among the country’s 50 largest metro areas with only 14 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. Among states, Nevada also ranks at the bottom, with only 18.
Source: Nevada Housing Division