EDITORIAL: Nevada comes up last in low-income housing survey

If you create a set of metrics designed to determine the best player in major league baseball and Detroit Tiger outfielder Mikie Mahtook emerges at the top of the list, you’d likely go back to the drawing board.

Which brings us to the latest report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a group that agitates for more housing subsidies — sorry, “investments” — on top of the billions that American taxpayers already pour into such programs.

On Tuesday, the group released “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes.” The study concludes that Las Vegas is the worst metropolitan area in the country when it comes to affordable housing for low-income residents. In addition, Nevada finished dead last among the states. Huh?

What does it say about the coalition’s formula that Las Vegas and Nevada get singled out ahead of the Bay Area and California, where even middle-class residents struggle to find affordable housing thanks to the Golden State’s oppressive regulatory apparatus?

Coalition president and CEO Dina Yentel cited a lack of housing handouts in Nevada, along with an abundance of low-wage jobs and the recent housing crisis, as the reasons for the state’s ranking. The analysis determined that the Silver State has only 15 affordable units available for every 100 “extremely low-income” renters. California, meanwhile, has 21 such dwellings. It’s worth noting that no state made the grade.

Of course, it all depends on the definition of an “affordable” unit and other calculations involving income and the local cost of living. Nobody would deny that those in need have limited choices when it comes to housing. But to imply that a low-income renter in Las Vegas faces a greater struggle to find lodging than his counterpart in San Jose is to ignore reality.

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