Nevada Current: Lombardo kills tenant protections, eviction reforms despite warnings of homeless crisis

In case you missed his Friday night veto spree, Joe Lombardo blocked five bills that would have strengthened tenant protections and helped address Nevada’s housing crisis. This comes after he already vetoed AB298, which would have capped rent increases for seniors and Nevadans with disabilities. 

It’s no surprise considering Lombardo’s campaign was bankrolled by slumlord billionaire Robert Bigelow who’s best known for evicting vulnerable families during a global pandemic.

Read more below about Lombardo’s refusal to protect renters over his biggest donor.

Nevada Current: Lombardo kills tenant protections, eviction reforms despite warnings of homeless crisis

Michael Lyle

June 19, 2023

Key Points:

  • In a Friday night dump, Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoed the overwhelming bulk of legislation that would have expanded tenant protections, made changes to eviction proceedings and authorized more tools to address the housing crisis. 
  • Lombardo killed a record-breaking 75 bills that, in addition to housing bills social service groups said would prevent an eviction and homeless crisis, also included legislation to fund universal free lunch for K-12 schools and provide health care coverage for pregnant undocumented women. 
  • Because the state didn’t enact several bills that would have addressed the housing crisis, Jonathan Norman, the statewide policy director for the Nevada Coalition of Legal Service Providers, worries Nevada “will see a spike in people needlessly forced into homelessness.”
  • He points to Senate Bill 335 in particular, which would have extended a 2021 law that expired June 5 that paused eviction proceedings for 60 days if a rental assistance application was pending. 
  • The day after the 2021 law expired, people attending court hearings learned their evictions could proceed despite waiting on assistance. 
  • “Without (SB 335) being signed I think the number of evictions is going to spike to a level I don’t think our community has ever seen,” Norman said. “I think we are going to have people who have never been homeless before face the real prospect of being homeless for the first time.”
  • Lombardo vetoed Assembly Bill 340. The state’s summary eviction system requires tenants, rather than landlords, be the first to file a case with the courts after receiving a pay or quit notice. The bill would have flipped the process to require landlords file first.  
  • Two other measures killed Friday were Senate Bill 78 and Assembly Bill 218, which put more regulations and transparency around rental applications and fees associated with listed units. 
  • Additionally, Lombardo vetoed Senate Bill 371, which clarified local authority’s ability to address the housing crisis. 
  • All these bills were proposed as a response to the state’s growing housing crisis that has been compounded by skyrocketing rents, limited housing stock and the end of Covid-era resources like wide-scale rental assistance and a reduction in food assistance.
  • Days before the veto, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and United Way of Southern Nevada put out a joint statement saying many of these bills were needed and would work in tandem to prevent a homelessness crisis. 
  • Barbara Buckley, the executive director of Legal Aid, said the bills were “common sense solutions” that could prevent people, particularly vulnerable populations like seniors on fixed incomes and and people with disabilities, from facing an eviction if rental assistance is available.
  • Prior to Friday’s mass veto, Lombardo already killed Assembly Bill 298, which sought to cap rent increases at 10% for people older than 62 or who rely on disability insurance benefits.

Read the full story here.



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