Reno mayor announces affordable housing proposal

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - One thousand homes in 120 days.

That's the plan mayor Hillary Schieve is hoping to achieve to create affordable housing.

Schieve said it's all about housing now.

This comes after last week's town hall's meeting to push for affordable housing.

She hopes to execute this plan with a few goals in mind by deferring fees, lowering costs with developers paying city fees later.

She said there must be a minimum of 30 units in size for houses, townhouses, apartments and condo units throughout the city.

"By making them pay fees later in the development, this makes up for low upfront cost," said Schieve. "We're requiring anyone who wants to join this program to already own the land, have a successful track record building sizable projects and be able to get shovels in the ground within 18 months."

Housing will take place on opportunity zones. These zones throughout the city have been identified on the federal level as it may be challenging for development.

"We want to make sure everyone in the city has a great opportunity for businesses and restaurants and nice housing and those areas are really identified through them, and we want to make sure again it stays in the McCarran ring. We don't want to build sprawl," added Schieve.

So why this plan and why now?

Mayor Schieve said action is needed now to sustain residency.

"Renters and low income buyers have fewer options as larger family homes in the suburbs jump in price," said Schieve. "By combining the federal and state opportunity zone model with this program builders can focus on making houses now. We need to take action now to stabilize rent, local governments can only do so much. I want people to know rent control is illegal and divisive. So we wanted to do this pilot project to get concrete poured and people moving in."

City council must vote and approve this plan before action takes place.

Mayor Schieve said she believes city council will be in full support of this initiative.

The council plans to meet on October 2nd.

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