LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Affordable housing continues to be a crisis in Southern Nevada, with the average home price sitting above $400,000.

Amid the rising costs, a new project in the works hopes to make the dream of homeownership a reality for low-income families.

Clark County plans to transform an area of land in the Southwest Las Vegas Valley, off Cactus between Buffalo and Rainbow, into an affordable housing development.

More than 100 homes are expected to be built on the land — they would be available for purchase, specifically for low-income families.

New affordable housing project in southwest Las Vegas, near Buffalo and Cactus

“It’s been difficult to find housing,” Las Vegan Ernie Rivas said.

Rivas is a single father of two. For five months, he has lived at the Manor Suites, a weekly just south of the Las Vegas Strip. He is now looking for a home — but the cost is too high.

“They want you to obviously three sometimes four times the amount of rent, and in a lot of cases, a lot of people in Vegas don’t make that much,” Rivas said.

Experts say it is because of more demand.
“Las Vegas is considered one of the highest, most expensive cities in the United States,” said Kamelia Kohlmeier, a real estate agent with Winning Realty.

Rivas is having a tough time finding a home. So, that is why he is thrilled a new affordable housing project is in the works in the Southwest Las Vegas Valley.

Clark County Commissioners voted this week to give a local developer the green light to build more than 100 homes on 15 acres of land, near Cactus and Buffalo. And it is all for lower-income families to buy.

“That’d be amazing,” Rivas said. “I would be the first in my immediate family to own a home. But not only that, but it would mean a lot to my kids as well.”

“This will be the first time we’ve done something like this in Clark County,” said Justin Jones, Clark County Commissioner for District F.

Commissioner Jones says homeownership for lower-income families can also overcome other challenges.
“If you’re a teacher, a firefighter, or somebody who just wants to live in a nice community, send your kids to a nice school, it’s really hard,” Commissioner Jones said. “We really wanted to provide those working families with another option.”

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones

Rivas tells 8 News Now he cannot wait.
“It’s the opportunity for us to own a home and we’ll take advantage of it,” Rivas said.

The project is still in its early stages. Commissioner Jones says what is next in the process, is working with the developer on the design plan — and collaborating with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on how much the homes will cost, because the BLM owns that land.