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LETTER: Rent control isn’t the answer for Nevada

While rent control may be a popular political solution to rapidly rising rental costs, it makes no economic sense. In the face of declining profits and higher expenses, builders will be less likely to construct more units, thus worsening an existing supply problem.

Landlords are also more likely to defer maintenance as a way of maintaining their profits, creating a housing quality problem as units fall into decline.

The only real answer to rising rents is to massively increase the actual supply of multifamily units. Over time, this will result in lower rental rates due to the law of supply and demand. Local governments should reserve and make available federal land under the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act for the construction of affordable housing units. The state should massively increase its low-income housing tax credit program and incentivize large employers, such as the casinos, to purchase those tax credits as a means of creating housing for their workers and to provide the necessary equity so that those multifamily units can be financed and constructed.

Building more rental units will take a concerted effort by the whole community, including zoning changes to expedite the approval process and construction of critically needed multifamily units.

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