LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County commissioners on Tuesday approved the creation of a $160 million Community Housing Fund to address the rising cost of purchasing or renting a home.

The program comes as county officials estimate there is a shortage of more than 85,000 homes for residents classified as “extremely low-income and very low income.” A family of four making less than $37,500 is considered “very low-income.”

“Since the onset of the pandemic two years ago, the county has made significant investments in short- and long-term housing solutions to prevent evictions and homelessness, and to boost the availability of affordable housing in our community,” according to a statement in a county news release leading up to approval of the program.

In March, county officials approved plans to help fund seven affordable housing developments for low-income seniors or families. The funding will help create more than 600 apartments, the county said.

County leaders are in negotiations to build more than 100 for-sale affordable homes in the southwest valley.

The Community Housing Fund will leverage partnerships and target investment opportunities to accelerate the development of permanent affordable housing for low- to moderate-income households. Programs that could exist under the fund include a gap-financing program for affordable housing development projects and a community land trust to support developments with affordable for-sale homes.

Clark County will also create an inventory of county-controlled land that could be used for housing.

“The lack of affordable housing in Southern Nevada greatly affects those working to escape homelessness and those at risk of becoming homeless. To address these issues, the commissioners have already provided significant additional funding to homeless outreach, shelter services and affordable housing opportunities in Southern Nevada,” the county said.