250,000 Las Vegas Residents Face Eviction In September

250,000 Las Vegas Residents Face Eviction In September

More than 10 percent of the Las Vegas area population could face eviction from their homes if the moratorium ends on Sept. 1, as planned. Photo by Guido Coppa on Unsplash

Residents in Las Vegas, Nevada, are staring down a perfect storm of economic events that could lead to more than 10 percent of the population being evicted from their homes if the moratorium ends on Sept. 1, as planned.

More than 75 percent of Nevada’s population lives in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world.

An estimated 249,700 people in Clark County — 10-percent-plus of the population — are at risk of eviction starting next month, according to Las Vegas research group Guinn Center and the Covid-19 Eviction Defense Project in Denver.

A combination of unemployment, a high number of renters, expired federal unemployment benefits and lifting the state eviction freeze make for a potential crisis in the city, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

“It’s just sort of a bad confluence of events,” said Nancy Brune, Guinn Center executive director.

The Las Vegas jobless rate rose from 3.9 percent in February to 34 percent in April after the pandemic hit. It fell to 18 percent after casinos and other businesses reopened by June, but is still among the highest in the country, according to federal data.

Las Vegas could be hit harder than other metro areas.

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The coronavirus is keeping visitors away in a place that relies on people traveling there from around the country and the world, often by air, to gamble, eat, drink, party, get married and play in close proximity to others.

About 47 percent of households in Clark County are renters and 38 percent of renters are unemployed, Brune said.

By comparison, 27 percent of Americans overall rent their homes, according to Statista.

During the Great Recession, Las Vegas lost about 200,000 jobs in about two and a half years, according to Jeremy Aguero, a principal at Applied Analysis. “It was long, and it was dragged out and it was very painful. With the Covid-19 crisis, we’ve lost over 250,000 in about two months,” Aguero told Nevada Public Radio.

Up to 40 million people, around 10 percent of the U.S., could be at risk of eviction in the next few months, according to a recent report published by the Aspen Institute think tank.

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In Nevada, tenants can be evicted in 15 days after rent is missed.

Landlords will proceed with evictions against tenants who have not communicated with property managers or who did not lose their jobs but opted not to pay rent during the state’s eviction freeze, said Nevada State Apartment Association Executive Director Susy Vasquez.

Nevada has reported 63,028 coronavirus cases and 1,134 deaths.

In 2018, Nevada casinos hired 409,444 workers, according to Statista. Many of those jobs disappeared almost overnight amid the coronavirus outbreak.