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July 25, 2014

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Horsford applauds state decision to boot Buena Vista out of tax program

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Brian Nordli

A warning sign from the coroner’s office prohibits people from entering an apartment at the Buena Vista Springs complex Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Buena Vista Springs Complex

Herman Jackson Jr., a 14 year resident of the Buena Vista Springs complex, points at a broken emergency pull cord alarm system in his apartment Thusday, May 15, 2014. Launch slideshow »

The Nevada Housing Division has kicked the Buena Vista Springs Apartments, where an elderly resident was found dead last week, out of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, a move that was lauded by public officials Monday.

Community advocates and politicians, including Rep. Steven Horsford, Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly and North Las Vegas Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown, had previously criticized the conditions at the North Las Vegas apartment complex for seniors.

On Wednesday, Buena Vista resident Edward L. Davidson, 64, was found dead inside his apartment. Another resident, Alma Bennett-Evans, said Davidson was found only after she asked Buena Vista staff several times to do a welfare check on him. Davidson died from an arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, or hardening of the arteries, coroner’s officials said.

Housing officials found that a pull-cord system in the apartments for medical problems and other emergencies was not functioning.

During a media tour last week residents ran off a list of problems, such as neglect from property staff, lack of air conditioning and maintenance issues.

On Friday the Nevada Housing Division sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service alerting them that Buena Vista was no longer eligible for the tax credit program.

“After years of repeated attempts to persuade property leadership and/or ownership to bring the building under compliance, the Nevada Housing Division must at this point declare the property out of the program,” the letter states.

The decision was hailed Monday by Horsford, who, along with Goynes-Brown and Weekly, had called for the complex to be kicked out of the program earlier this month, prior to Davidson’s death.

“Buena Vista Springs residents have been neglected and willfully ignored by property owners for years,” Horsford said in a statement. “These slumlords have fleeced taxpayers by claiming to provide adequate housing in order to receive Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. They did this while refusing to maintain safe living conditions for the seniors living at the complex.

“The seniors living at Buena Vista should not be asked to move due to code violations by the property owners. Instead, the owners should use the profits earned from years of cheating taxpayers to bring the senior living complex into compliance,” he added.

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