Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 | 2 a.m.
Houses in one Mountain’s Edge neighborhood are listed for sale for $450,000 or more, out of reach for some working families.
Todd Stratton has a vision to build homes here that will sell for half that price, perhaps as little as $208,000.
“I hope we can pull this off,” said Stratton, owner of Kavison Homes, which plans to build 150 houses on a 15-acre tract along Cactus Avenue, just east of Buffalo Drive and only a short drive from Mountain’s Edge Regional Park.
It’s part of a public-private partnership with Clark County to provide affordable home-ownership opportunities for families that earn less than the Las Vegas median income.
“I envision 20 or 30 Clark County School District teachers living here, along with police officers, firefighters,” Stratton said. “There are a lot of people who have been priced out of this housing market in the last couple of years. We need to fix that, and this project can help.”
The Clark County Commission voted 7-0 this month to move forward with the project, which will make homes available to those who make up to 80% of the area’s median income.
Details still need to be ironed out, but the vote represented a significant step toward what could be a partial remedy for Southern Nevada’s affordable housing crunch.
One of the hurdles that will need to be met for construction to begin will be the transfer of the land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to Clark County.
“This is a creative solution that will provide working families with an opportunity to own a home,” Commissioner Justin Jones said. “We’re already looking at other opportunities like this. We wanted to get this one rolling first to see how the process works and what the interest level is.”
Jones said the county is short about 70,000 affordable single-family homes.
“We have an affordable housing crisis, and more and more people have been put in a position lately where they can’t afford to live here without some type of assistance,” he said.
Kavison Homes was awarded the project earlier this year after a request-for-proposals process. Construction could begin in about 10 months.
The homes will be two and three stories tall and are expected to cost $208,000 to $240,000, said Nancy Amundsen, director of the county’s Department of Comprehensive Planning.
In addition to the income guidelines — a family of four, for example, would need a household income of about $64,000 or less to qualify — a stipulation would also be written in contracts that any sale of the property for at least 30 years would need to be made to an income-specific buyer, Stratton said.
The term would prevent speculative buying by house-flippers and those hoping to make a profit off their purchase.
“This is going to be a phenomenal project,” said Stratton, a longtime Las Vegas resident and 1982 graduate of Chaparral High School. “I can’t wait to see it through, and I hope there are more projects like this in the valley in the coming years.”
Since the commission’s vote, dozens of potential home buyers have reached out to the county, Jones said. People have also contacted Kavison Homes to express interest.
At some point, there will likely be a formal application process through the county’s website, Jones said. “We’re taking contact information from those who are interested, and we’ll reach back out to them once we get further along in the process,” he said.
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