RENO, Nev. — On Sept. 18, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve announced the “1,000 Homes in 120 Days” initiative.
According to a news release from the city, officials describe the initiative as "a pilot program that's meant to help stabilize rents and implement an immediate strategy to respond to the Reno housing crisis."
The program will do that, the mayor said, by deferring fees the city charges for such things as sewer hookups and road infrastructure until the back end of the project.
“This initiative will be beneficial to getting more housing product into the market,” Schieve said in a statement. “At the Mayor's Housing Town Hall (held Sept. 4 at Renown Health's Mack Auditorium), I teased a bold new initiative for housing. I'm excited that we kept that promise, and that we're introducing this transformative idea right here in Reno.
"Not many cities in the country have introduced something like this to spur development.”
Schieve introduced the initiative during a Sept. 18 press conference at city hall, with Don Tatro, CEO of the Builders Association of Northern Nevada, and others on hand to lend support.
"There isn't one single thing that will solve our attainability issues," Tatro said, according to a Sept. 18 article from the Reno Gazette Journal's Jason Hidalgo that dissects the plan. "But by combining bold ideas like this with other initiatives, we can bring the needed supply for all types of housing, like condos, townhome, multifamily and single-family."
According to the city's press release, features of the initiative include:
- The city will defer sewer connection and traffic impact permit fees to accelerate the construction of 1,000 townhouse, apartment or condominium units within Opportunity Zones.
- These deferrals will be provided as a “loan” against the project, which must be repaid under a predetermined schedule through an agreement submitted by the project developer and OK'd by the Reno City Council.
- Developers would save up to an estimated $8,400 per unit in deferrals, to help kick start their project.
- The developer must demonstrate control of the land on which the project is proposed at the time of submission of the agreement.
- Proposals to use the program must be submitted within 120 days of the establishment of this program, and the applicant must have successfully completed the construction of at least one multi-family project valued at $10 million or more and demonstrate financial viability of the project.
- Projects must be a minimum of 30 dwelling units in size.
- Projects must start construction within 18 months of execution of the agreement for a project.
According to the city, the program is scheduled to be presented to the Reno City Council for official approval on Oct. 2.
If council rejects it, then the plan "is a no-go," Schieve told the RGJ.