Priced Out: The Housing Crunch

Home and rental prices continue to soar in Northern Nevada and Northeastern California, leaving more working families and individuals on the brink. Seniors, college students, single parents, immigrants, and the working poor are particularly vulnerable. Some must choose to pay rent over buying food or securing healthcare. The lack of affordable housing in urban and rural areas alike is changing the identity of this region. In response, the KUNR newsroom is examining housing through many lenses, including the economic, political, and public health impacts.

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Noah Glick

With housing costs reaching record highs throughout northern Nevada, potential buyers and builders are looking at alternative options.

One big idea that’s gaining traction nationwide is small: tiny homes.

Krysta Scripter

For years after the recession, there were zero new homes built in Fernley, which was dubbed the foreclosure capital of the US. In 2017, there were more than 200. It's part of a larger trend as people start to look outside of Reno/Sparks for a place they can afford to live. Our reporter Jacob Solis spoke to an official in Fernley to find out more.

image of large residential building being constructed
Noah Glick

The housing supply in Northern Nevada is far below demand, which has led to a rapid rise in costs.

Many are calling for more development, but builders in the community say they’re unable to keep up.

Fresh vegetables in baskets sit on a table.
Anh Gray

About half of the people living in Washoe County are rent burdened. That means they’re spending roughly a third of their income on housing. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray sits down with a public health expert to learn how Northern Nevada’s housing crunch is affecting people in the community.

More than a third of Washoe County residents are considered burdened by housing costs. That's according to research conducted by Enterprise Community Partners -- a non-profit that advocates for affordable housing options across the country.

The median sales price of a single-family home in Reno is now higher than it was during the peak of the housing boom just before the Great Recession.

This surge in pricing is reminding many in the region of the thriving market of the mid-2000s, as well as the devastation the ensuing crash caused to Northern Nevada.

A leasing sign near UNR
Jacob Solis

In the last few years, the University of Nevada, Reno, saw a spike in enrollment even as nationwide numbers decline. But with that increase in students comes another problem; where are they all supposed to live? And as Reno Public Radio's Jacob Solis reports, the answer is not so simple.

Rob Sabo

Tariffs enacted on softwood lumber imported from Canada are helping create a "perfect storm" of escalating construction costs in Northern Nevada. Our contributor Kaleb Roedel of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly has the details.

Courtesy RSAR

New home listings in Washoe County for April were down 13 percent from a year ago. Our contributor Kaleb Roedel of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly reports.

Pallets with boxes of food sit in a food pantry.
Anh Gray

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts found that rents have been rising faster than incomes. Many families have a hard time paying for housing and buying food. Our reporter Anh Gray checks in with the head of the region’s food bank to see how housing security is linked to food security.

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