New Las Vegas public housing project planned

Rendering of the planned Wardelle Street Townhouses. The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority hopes to open the public housing development in spring 2020. (Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority)

The Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority plans to break ground in March on its first public housing development in more than five years.

Wardelle Street Townhouses is slated to have a mix of 64 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments spread across a two-story complex. The housing authority estimates the development on the northeast corner of North Wardelle Street and East Bonanza Road will open in spring 2020.

“We’re very excited about this development,” said Frank Stafford, the authority’s acting director of modernization and development. “This is one of the three (public housing) lots that we demolished probably around 2009, 2010, so there was always the hope of coming back and building public housing in that neighborhood.”

The authority will pay for the project with funds from Clark County and the sale of low-income housing tax credits allocated by the state. A total price tag has not been released.

Like all public housing projects, almost all of the apartments at Wardelle Street Townhouses will be reserved for low-income tenants. However, Stafford said that doesn’t mean amenities will be lacking.

The complex will contain a clubhouse, computer lab, dog park and picnic areas, according to Stafford. It will be across the street from a planned public library, and Las Vegas officials are working to open an on-site early childhood education center.

The education center will prepare children for kindergarten, but it will also double as affordable child care.

“When you look at the cost of child care, which can average $700 per child a month, this definitely serves as a benefit to the parents the housing authority services because they would not have to come up with money for the costs of child care,” said Michael Maxwell, the city’s manager for youth development and social innovation.

Southern Nevada has an enormous need for affordable rental housing.

About 168,000 low-income families in Clark County need assistance obtaining affordable housing, according to the state’s Annual Housing Progress Report, released in February. Earlier this year, the housing authority reported its wait lists for public housing numbered more than 30,000 names.

Stafford said the housing authority owns two other vacant lots in east Las Vegas where public housing used to stand. He hopes to construct homes on those sites within the next five years.

“It all depends on the funding that is out there,” he said. “But we have the land, and we’ll be ready if it happens.”

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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