An analysis completed by the Reno Gazette Journal indicates that with median home prices in Reno recently soaring to $420,500 and $352,100 in Sparks, an income of over $80,000 is required to secure a mortgage for the average single family home.
According to the 2016 Census, the median income in Reno was $48,815, while the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports an even lower number, $46,330. On top of falling short of the annual income requirements, many would-be home buyers struggle to save for the required down payment, and according to the Reno Sparks Association of Realtors, ‘For Sale’ inventory is low.
When considering the average working population, the statistics look grim. The market for housing is even more challenging for populations that are already struggling to make ends meet. Thousands of Reno residents consider weekly motels their home, but these places are being bought and boarded up or torn down by investors in droves. This reduction has created a lack of transitory housing, which has led to increases in nightly rent rates at the motels that remain. According to the Community Action Office of the Reno Police Department, hundreds of people are being priced out of these already insufficient residences into homelessness. In the case of Veterans, there are many programs that offer assistance; the VA, HUD-VASH, and Veterans Resource Center, to name a few. A major contributing factor to Veteran homelessness is service resistance.
What that means is a lack of willingness to accept help for various reasons; feeling a loss of control and an unwillingness to give up personal possessions. Another common source of service resistance is the refusal to give up a pet, usually a canine.
What is it going to take to solve this problem?
There are hundreds of hard working, caring individuals that are working every day to answer that question. Where I believe it starts is with individuals who are willing to go out of their way and make it a priority to step up and help provide housing. There are several philanthropists in town that have started buying properties with the intent to create dignified, sustainable housing for Veterans, but at this time, it is not enough. This shortage is what has inspired me to do my part to improve our community by providing assistance through acquisition of dedicated multi-housing properties for these deserving Veterans.
What you can do to help, today.
If you see a homeless individual, please, engage them in conversation and educate them about the many services available to help them. If they are a qualifying Veteran, there are even more resources available. Below is a list of several local contacts that can facilitate the help they need: