LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Culinary Union held a news conference Thursday to submit signatures needed for a ballot initiative campaign focusing on rent control in North Las Vegas.

Skyrocketing rental prices in the past year have forced some renters out of their apartments to look for other less expensive living options.

The union announced that it has been working with the North Las Vegas community to advance the ballot initiative, which would prevent rent increases in the city from exceeding the cost of living. However, apartment owners don’t like the idea.

The union submitted the thousands of signatures gathered to put the Neighborhood Stability Ordinance on the ballot in November.

The ordinance would prevent a landlord from increasing rent for a rental unit during the first year after a tenancy starts, at any time after the first year of the tenancy without giving the tenant a 90-day written notice, or during any 12 months in an amount greater than the recorded increase in the cost of living.

“The Neighborhood Stability Ordinance is essential in North Las Vegas because long-time residents and senior citizens are being pushed out of their homes… following an average of 28.5% rent increase since 2019 in Clark County,” a release from the Culinary Union partially read.

A 2021 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed that median hourly wages rose 5% from 2019 to 2021 in southern Nevada.

In June 2022, the current average rent in Las Vegas for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,375. For a resident to afford that rent without paying more than 30% of their income on housing, they would have to make roughly $4,573 monthly or $54,880 annually.

The median income in Clark County in 2020 was $31,600, according to U.S. Census data.

“The purpose of this Section is to stabilize residential rent increases in the City of North Las Vegas such that there are no unwarranted rent increases that exceed the cost of living in order to help maintain the stability of neighborhoods in North Las Vegas,” the ordinance partially read. “This initiative is designed to address the City of North Las Vegas’ housing crisis and to preserve the public peace, health, and safety, of its citizens.”

Any initiative to cap rents has never provided sound and effective solutions, and the Culinary Union’s refusal to meet with the rental housing industry will negatively impact North Las Vegas, its residents and its economic diversification efforts. 

We realize that rents have been increasing faster than incomes and that many Nevadans are struggling to pay their bills. Today’s rapid inflation adds uncertainty for Nevadans, and for the entire rental housing industry.

We’ll continue working with lawmakers and other stakeholders to address Nevada’s housing problems, starting with providing well-rounded and purposeful solutions that help our industry provide more housing that Nevadans can afford.”

Nevada State Apartment Association statement on the proposed ballot initiative

The Culinary Union has collected thousands of signatures in support of the ballot measure since last month.

“Housing is arguably the most severe crisis our state is facing right now, and Governor Sisolak has the unilateral constitutional authority to call a special session to fix this statewide emergency right now! The talking points and pandering we’ve received to date may sound good on a campaign flyer but does absolutely nothing to help the scores of Nevadans struggling right now! Our residents demand and deserve better now,” said North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee in a statement.

For more information on the ballot initiative, visit this link.