Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine revealed details about the new program he’s helping lead in an interview Monday with The Nevada Independent. The relief fund comes as Nevada eases out of a complete moratorium on evictions enacted in late March after non-essential businesses were ordered to close, and as evictions for non-payment of residential rent are expected to resume by September.
Experts estimate about 10 to 13 percent of renters, or more than 100,000 households, are behind on rent. Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Thursday a gradual lift of the eviction moratorium at a time when thousands are facing potential eviction notices and the state's unemployment rate, which peaked at more than 28 percent in April, is estimated to be worse than that seen in the Great Depression.
The latest directive, announced Thursday, allows evictions to resume earlier for causes such as violations of lease conditions or nuisance issues, and allows eviction proceedings to resume for commercial properties for reasons including non-payment of rent in July. It comes as the current order was set to expire at the end of June.
Following recent attempts to evict residents amid an ongoing lawsuit over who has the legal right to live at the Winnemucca Indian Colony, a court has prohibited the colony's governing council from continuing cleanups, demolitions or other work on the colony land.
With June approaching and Sisolak announcing a move into a broader “Phase 2” business and societal reopening effective Friday, questions are percolating about whether the moratorium may be extended, and if not, how people in a state with 28.2 percent unemployment can make several months of rent or mortgage payments that suddenly come due.
The colony’s lands, including a 20-acre settlement of a few dozen people just outside Winnemucca, are at the heart of a decades-long fight involving the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the tribal council and colony residents.
Bishop said the market was "hot" before the coronavirus hit, and even in March, sales were going well. However, since the beginning of April, some of his clients have been cancelling transactions because of uncertainty.
The ruling, issued Wednesday in Lyon County Justice Court in favor of the tenant and against the Extended Stay Suites in Fernley, appears to be one of the first instances in which a Nevada court has enforced the order Sisolak issued on March 29. In addition to the statutory damages, the judge ordered the motel to pay $299.13 in actual damages to the tenant and immediately allow him back in his room.
The governor's order suspended all evictions and foreclosures statewide and halted late fees for as long as Nevada remains in a "state of emergency." It also stipulated that property owners can work with their lenders and receive flexibility regarding mortgage payments during the crisis, presumably allowing owners to give tenants more leniency in turn.
But the announcement of Nevada’s eviction pause has created a lot of questions for landlords, lenders, tenants and borrowers alike. Below, we’ve provided answers for several of the more common questions.
The announcement, which came in a press conference on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, comes after a coalition of legal aid providers and other advocacy groups called on elected officials to issue a statewide moratorium on evictions. Prior to the announcement, a patchwork of orders from some 40 courts in the state led to confusion about who was eligible for what, if any, relief or postponement of an eviction.
More than 20 organizations signed on to a letter last week calling on Sisolak to issue a statewide moratorium on evictions to provide peace of mind to renters, who comprise 45 percent of Nevada households, and replace a confusing patchwork of orders from individual local courts offering varied levels of relief to tenants.
In September, Mayor Hillary Schieve announced a pilot program designed to address the area’s housing shortage called "1,000 homes in 120 Days," offering developers local permit fee deferrals that act as no-interest "loans" to attract more construction. By the end of the 120-day application period on Jan. 30, developers had proposed 4,628 housing units scattered throughout Reno.
The two political action committees — Realtor Champion PAC and Realtor Industry PAC — were each registered with the state on the same day in December and given $1 million each by the REALTORS association. It’s part of an expanded strategy by the association (already a major contributor to legislative candidates of both parties) to play a larger role in recruiting and supporting candidates in both major political parties aligned with the industry after a 2019 legislative session that association President Chris Bishop called “one of the worst legislative sessions we've been through.”
Members of the business community, local governments and others fully expected a constitutional amendment on property taxes to advance this session. Yet, with only about a week left in the session, the proposal and an accompanying piece of legislation have yet to receive so much as a committee hearing and are considered all but dead.
The actual subject of the hearing was AB421, a bill heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee that would reverse many of the substantive changes Republican lawmakers made in 2015 on lawsuits related to construction defect claims, a move derided by Democrats but lauded by Republicans including Gov. Brian Sandoval and developers as necessary to stem the growing tide of alleged “frivolous” lawsuits on residential construction defects.
Democratic Sen. Julia Ratti, who presented the bill and chaired an interim legislative committee on affordable housing, told lawmakers on the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee on Monday that the tax credits would help spur development of another 600 units of low-cost housing every year, and match up with federal requirements for low-income housing credits to ease burdens on developers.