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Cortez Masto Announces Updates to Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act to Make it Easier to Build Affordable Housing in Las Vegas

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) have made updates the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act’s (SNPLMA) Affordable Housing Guidance to make it easier to build affordable housing units on federal land across Nevada. Senator Cortez Masto worked with local stakeholders in Las Vegas to repeatedly push for streamlined and improved guidance.

“Nevada is facing an affordable housing crisis and we need to be doing more to ensure we can build more homes for working families,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “For too long developing affordable housing on public lands in Nevada has been bogged down by an inefficient process, and I pushed for these vital improvements that will make it easier to build more homes for Nevada’s working families.”

The Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) contains provisions allowing for the sale of public land in Clark County to build affordable housing, but a burdensome process has been keeping developers from being able to access the land they needed to begin construction. In April, Senator Cortez Masto attended a groundbreaking for the first affordable housing complex in more than a decade that has been constructed on land obtained under SNPLMA’s affordable housing authorities, and she has consistently advocated for a better, more streamlined process. The BLM and HUD updated SNPLMA’s “Nevada Guidance” that guides the implementation of the law in response to repeated advocacy from Senator Cortez Masto and her office. The new guidelines will:

  1. Streamlines the conveyance of federal lands for affordable housing development in Nevada;

2.    Formalizes the process for HUD and BLM to make land throughout Nevada available at a discount for rental or for-sale homes serving families with incomes below 80% of Area Median Income;

3.    Establishes a streamlined process to assess affordable housing proposals in the state and calls for a review the process after ten years.

Senator Cortez Masto has been a leader in the fight to lower housing costs and keep Nevadans in their homes. In the Senate, she is a reliable champion of affordable housing, including leading the Affordable Housing Bond Enhancement Act and the HOME Reauthorization Act to help more families afford homes. She is also a sponsor of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act and the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act to help build more affordable housing across the country. She has secured more than $1 billion for affordable housing in the state, helping build and preserve more than 14,000 new affordable housing units.

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