An affordable housing community will expand east of Las Vegas to help deal with rising housing costs for seniors. 4,444 developers broke new ground on Desert Oasis II, a 43-unit apartment complex that was to be built and operated by nonprofit U.S. National Service volunteers. It will be in addition to the 75 existing luxury housing units at Desert Oasis I, 4445 Diamond Head Drive. The developers hope to open in fall 2022.
Both buildings offer comprehensive support services to help seniors live independently, said Sharon Wilson Geno, executive director of Volunteers US National Service Officer.
“Our residents are living better, healthier, and living longer alone and without having to go to nursing homes and assisted living because we already have a service coordination model in place,” he declared.
Rents for both buildings are income-based, with residents expected to have at least 80% of the area median income. Management plans to improve its service delivery model by adding an “aging with options” program, a community health worker, and a part-time health care nurse.
Desert Oasis II will feature a recreation club with a computer lab, a gym, laundry facilities, and a community garden, the developers said.
The nonprofit began its expansion about two years ago after a development director visiting Las Vegas noticed a need for affordable housing in the city, Wilson Geno said.
“(She) was amazed at the number of elderly people she saw on the streets,” she said. “It is clear that the homeless population in Las Vegas has increased dramatically.”
The project is supported by funding from the Nevada Housing Division’s Low Income Tax Credit Program, the HOME Fund provided by the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, and United Health Care, according to Volunteers of America.
Affordable housing for the elderly is essential for dealing with an aging population, but cannot solve the problem of growth, said Wilson Geno. Data from Harvard University’s Center for Housing Research in 2016 shows that nearly 10 million seniors are burdened by housing costs.
Wilson Geno is hopeful that the wrap-around serves will help meet the challenge in part.
“You’ve heard all the data about the coming silver tsunami about kids growing up living longer, they’re living with more chronic diseases as a result of medical advances, and they’re living by fewer resources because they save.
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