Reno Housing Authority opens Willie J. Wynn apartments for low-income seniors

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 9:02 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Dozens of the area’s seniors in need are about to upgrade their housing.

The Reno Housing Authority has unveiled its latest completed project - the Willie J. Wynn Apartments - which will house low-income seniors in the Reno/Sparks region.

”We’re seeing them price out of the market,” said Amy Jones, executive director of the Reno Housing Authority. “They don’t have the opportunity to gain more income.”

The building features 44 units, comprised of one and two bedroom apartments. There’s community laundry areas, as well as a library, fitness room, computer workspace, a wellness center and more.

Outside, a large patio-area includes a barbecue grill, horseshoe pit and there’s also a small dog park.

“We wanted to provide them a facility they could age in place, with many amenities to continue living here and enjoy living here,” said Jones.

The building is named after Willie J. Wynn, a pioneer in the Reno/Sparks community who was the first African American to be part of the Governor’s cabinet in the Silver State.

Wynn, a longtime pastor, was also an early commissioner of the Reno Housing Authority. The place where his church once stood is now the home of the new senior-living facility in his name.

“My dad made room for anybody,” said Patricia Wynn Tau, Willie’s daughter. “Looking at this complex, I say ‘Gosh, dad, there’s room!’”

“To be remembered 35 years later says a lot about this community,” said Bishop John Wynn, Willie’s son. “Not forgetting what he did for the people.”

The Willie J. Wynn Apartments are currently accepting applications, though Jones says the demand is high. Tenants will be selected based on income and situation. The rents range from around $430 to $730 per month.

The complex also has a partnership with Washoe County. 12 of the 44 units will be reserved for seniors getting back on their feet, with case management services included.

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