southern nevada

Legal Aid Center addresses Las Vegas-area evictions as rental help winds down

With a key source of pandemic-era rental help winding down in Southern Nevada, legal aid groups are pushing for more tenant protections.

Jonathan Norman, policy director for the Nevada Coalition of Legal Service Providers, said Tuesday that he hopes state lawmakers extend “in some form” a law that pauses eviction proceedings if the tenant is already applying for rental assistance. The measure, Assembly Bill 486, was approved in 2021 but expires this June. The next session of the Nevada Legislature begins next month.

He said Nevada should also switch to a “more normalized” procedure that doesn’t put the onus on renters to file with the court first in an eviction case; allow only one application fee per unit at a time, to stop any “unscrupulous” landlords from making additional money that way; and give evicted tenants more time before they have to leave.

Norman and others spoke during a briefing held by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which said in a news release ahead of the briefing that tens of thousands of Clark County households are struggling to pay rent.

Housing affordability and evictions comprising “the biggest issue facing our community,” the release said, adding the Civil Law Self-Help Center at downtown Las Vegas’ Regional Justice Center is assisting “300 people a day who are seeking help because they are at imminent risk of eviction.”

“If you run into someone who doesn’t think there’s an eviction crisis, send them there,” Barbara Buckley, executive director of the Legal Aid Center, said Tuesday.

Her group convened the gathering as Las Vegas’ rental market faces the expiration of a key source of financial help.

Launched in response to the pandemic, Clark County’s emergency rental assistance program will no longer accept applications starting Jan. 23, county officials announced late last month.


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