City of Reno: Evaluating methods to address housing affordability

Project title

City of Reno: Evaluating methods to address housing affordability

Research question

  1. How effective are the use of the following tools in addressing housing affordability issues in other jurisdictions across the U.S.?
  2. How can the effectiveness of these tools be maximized?

Background

Housing prices in the Reno/Sparks area are at all-time highs.The area's median household income is approximately $59,000. According to the Reno Gazette-Journal*, in July 2021, the median home price hit record highs in both Reno ($554,000) and Sparks ($500,000). In Reno, this represents a median home price to median income ratio of 9.4. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies**, Reno's ratio was 3.2 in 2000, and 3.5 in 2020. The Reno City Council has identified housing affordability as one of its top priorities for future zoning code amendments. The 2019 Regional Strategy for Housing Affordability identified a number of potential tools for jurisdictions in the Truckee Meadows to better address the area's affordability challenges. The City of Reno Community Development Department seeks to gauge the effectiveness of three of those tools as applied in other jurisdictions, and to identify potential strategies for maximizing the impact of each method.

Deliverables

Report and table evaluating use of these three tools across multiple jurisdictions in the U.S.

Suggested skills

Basic Microsoft Word and Excel knowledge
Ability to effectively conduct and summarize online research;
* Understand and summarize municipal policies;
* Understand basic statistical terms and techniques; and,
* Communicate clearly and professionally orally and in writing, both with City staff and as a representative of the City when contacting other jurisdictions.

Agency representative

Kelly Mullin

mullink@reno.gov

(775) 399-0498