Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2017

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Rosen calls Trump budget ‘heartless,’ tours senior housing complex

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Steve Marcus

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-Nev) speaks before a tour of the Pacific Pines Senior Apartments, a Nevada HAND housing complex, in Henderson Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Michel Mullin, founder and CEO of Nevada HAND, listens at right. Rosen is advocating for full funding of housing assistance programs in the 2018 budget.

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen Housing Tour in Henderson

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-Nev) is greeted by Michel Mullin, founder and CEO of Nevada HAND, before a tour of the Pacific Pines Senior Apartments, a Nevada HAND housing complex, in Henderson Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Rosen is advocating for full funding of housing assistance programs in the 2018 budget. Launch slideshow »

U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., this morning condemned President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, calling it “heartless” and not reflective of American, Nevadan or family values.

Trump’s proposed budget, which was released earlier this month, seeks to cut $6.2 billion in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The cuts would affect many affordable housing and neighborhood programs and initiatives, such as the National Housing Trust Fund and Community Development Block Grants.

To call attention to the issue, Rosen conducted a news conference and toured the Pacific Pines Senior Apartments, a 284-unit community near Water Street in downtown Henderson. Funding for the complex, which opened in stages between 2004 and 2012, came from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

Rosen urged Republicans to take their own tours and hear from residents. “This isn’t just about numbers on a page,” she said. “This is about real people.”

Affordable housing for seniors and families shouldn’t be a partisan issue, Rosen said. “This affects Americans from every walk of life,” she said.

According to a study released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there are only 15 affordable rental units available in the Las Vegas area for every 100 households classified as extremely low income. The national average is 35.

In the Las Vegas area, about 16 percent of households spend at least half their income on housing.

Stephanie Davis, property manager for Pacific Pines, said many residents at the complex live on $700 or $800 a month. Rent at Pacific Pines, which has one- and two-bedroom units, runs between $315 and $500.

“People come to us crying, saying they need a place to live now, but we just don’t have anything” available right now, she said.

Knowing that federal funding for more housing developments like hers could be drying up is heartbreaking, Davis said.

“I wish I could do more,” she said. “Where are these people going to stay?”