Seniors concerned over proposed rent hike
Some seniors on fixed incomes are worried they will not be able to afford a sudden spike in rent at their affordable housing community.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
CREATED Apr. 9, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Some seniors on fixed incomes are worried they will not be able to afford a sudden spike in rent at their affordable housing community.
"At this rate that they're going at this point in time, I don't know what I'm going to do quite frankly," said Frances Drewrey.
Drewrey and neighbor Brent Coates have to manage their money. The two are on fixed incomes. They're worried a rent hike set for May at the Rulon Earl Mobile Manor off East Stewart will hit their finances hard.
People who live in the community own their homes, but not the land underneath. Coates said rents are set to increase between $11 and $50 each month; in his case, it's a $31 increase.
"$30 a month wouldn't be a big deal if some of the people who have to pay $30-$50 a month increases were making more than $1,000 a month," Coates said.
Coates said the upcoming change would be the first rent increase since 2008.
Residents said they were notified about the hike in December. Single pads will increase to $225 each month while double pads rise to $245, according to the notification letter.
Coates presented a letter from the now-defunct Housing Authority of the City of Las Vegas from 2008 promising annual rent increases would be tied to changes in the cost of living adjustment.
"There's a point when we have to stop and consider human beings. It isn't always about money," said Drewery.
Action News went to the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority for answers. The authority manages the community.
The rent increases are required by state law to make sure renters with similar lots are paying the same amount, said Shannon Gammie, director of affordable housing. Currently, some renters are paying different rates for the same size lots, but it's unclear how that happened, she said.
The average increase is $11 per month, Gammie said. The new rate will be locked in for three years. Still, Gammie said a housing authority survey of similar communities found the new rates will be lower than most competitors.
As for that 2008 letter from the previous housing authority, Gammie said the letter was not in compliance with state law and never took effect, noting residents have not seen a rate increase since 2008. The Las Vegas housing authority merged with similar entities throughout the region to become the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority.
Coates said he disagrees with the housing authority's stance on the compliance issue with the law.
"We are willing to do our part if they'll do their part," said Drewrey.