The City of Caliente City Council saw Gary Longaker at their meeting last week, from the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. The NRHA implemented housing programs in the 1970s, and has been assisting low-income families get into their own homes ever since. For 2013, their Home At Last program helped 884 Nevada families get into homes, more than double what they assisted in 2012. The average price of homes purchased was just under $175,000, with the average household income being assisted slightly over $55,000. The average homeowner age was 35, with a two-person household size. The NRHA say the statistics imply an improving economy for Nevada.

Longaker presented the family self-sufficiency program, that aids in helping families get off welfare, food stamps, and other government subsidies.

According to their website, nvrural.org, 2013 was the first year NRHA offered assistance with down payments and a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). Homeowners received grants for a percentage of their loan amount, along with a $2,000 tax credit through the Home at Last MCC program. Average savings from the program can be more than $40,000 of mortgage interest until the expiration of the loan.

Alison Rachiell is the mortgage and marketing specialist, who was also present at the meeting. More information can be obtained at the NRHA website, or by calling Rachiell at 702-992-7215, extension 122.

In other City business, the Council approved to appoint Kelli Haluzak, deputy city clerk, to fill the City Clerk position which was vacated sometime late last year. Ashley Tibbetts, former utility clerk, was then moved to the Deputy Clerk’s position, leaving a vacancy for the part time utility clerk position.

Street work could ensue soon in Caliente for water line installation. With grant-funded contractor work scheduled later this year, Utility foreman Jerry Carter said, “We literally have to be in front of the project, or run a saw up the middle of Spring Heights. The sooner, the better.”

The council will have to meet with CPA Dan MacArthur to see what budgets might be available to fund the project.

Carter expressed that if the City is, “going to have that street tore up, we have to give people a schedule,” of when the road work would be going on during various hours of the day.

The City Council will return to their normally scheduled meeting times for the month of February, the first and third Thursdays at 6 p.m.