There is little doubt that Pioche is in need of housing, especially affordable housing, but bringing in Nevada Rural Housing and especially government section eight housing is not the way to do it. Even though our current commissioners have emphatically stated that it’s a done deal, there actually are options that they refuse to explore. While time still permits, that over $300,000 in money NRH claims they have already invested, could be paid back to them and the current Pioche Housing could return to the county. There are options in the way the money could be generated to do that.
The first option is that all of the commissioners who were on the board when the NRH was first brought in and they decided to give “housing” to them, should evenly divide the amount needed and out of their own pocket generate the needed money. This is obviously not a viable option and won’t happen. The second option is that a law suit could be opened against the Nevada Rural Housing for failure to disclose their intents and future methods of operating the future Pioche housing. Possibly they did disclose to the commissioners, I have no way of knowing, but they definitely did not disclose any of this to the current residents of housing.
During the first meeting NRH had with current residents very little was told to them especially details of how they would be included into the new housing. On the first meeting they especially did not reveal that all of it will be section 8 and that they would have to qualify nor provide any example of what amount they would have to pay for monthly rent. It was on the second meeting that NRH had with current residents they announced that housing would be via section eight and told several of them that they would not qualify. They even told one resident that if he wanted to qualify that he would have to hide his retirement assets in ways it would be hidden from section eight. This of course is very illegal. Now that, in effect, they are throwing out some of the best and longest residents currently in housing it prompted attendance at a recent commissioner’s meeting to address options.
The third option we have, and the most practical, is to use the insurance money from the fire, which is currently set aside, to pay NRH what they have invested into their project. It would not be enough to pay their current claim of moneys spent, however would go a long way to help. Then return to what Pioche housing has always been, under the very capable hands of those currently managing and maintaining the rental. Rent could be raised slightly and the new moneys used for future upgrading and maintaining of the buildings. Currently, even with the low rents, Pioche housing is breaking even.
I would like to urge all residents of Lincoln County, especially those in Pioche, to find ways to communicate with our commissioners and find a way to get Pioche housing back. Whether or not they can show some humility and admit they were too hasty giving it to NRH will remain to be seen.