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Growing Number of Experts Blaming Bureau of Land Management for Las Vegas Housing Crisis

Bureau of Land Management

Growing Number of Experts Blaming Bureau of Land Management for Las Vegas Housing Crisis

LAS VEGAS, NV – As the profile of Las Vegas has risen considerably in recent years, prompting many to want to move there to take advantage of its lower cost of living, the city has encountered a housing crisis as demand is currently far outstripping the amount of inventory available to would-be homeowners.

And one of the primary reasons for this crisis, according to a growing number of those in the real estate industry, is due to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), with the federal agency currently managing nearly three million acres in Clark County; the U.S. government currently owns 80 percent of the land in the state of Nevada overall – the most out of any state in the country – and 88 percent of Clark County.

Mike Ford, co-owner of Las Vegas-based public lands consulting firm Abbey, Stubbs & Ford and a former BLM employee, said there is currently no good reason for the federal agency not to release more land for development in Clark County than they already have, which would go a long way towards alleviating the housing shortage currently plaguing local residents.

There’s 2.9 million acres of BLM land in Clark County, and that’s what we really need to focus on because land managed by the other (federal) agencies is generally not available for disposal because it has environmental attributes or it’s part of a congressionally designated special management unit,” Ford said.

In 1998, the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA) was passed that set aside approximately 67,000 acres out of the 2.9 million available in the Las Vegas Valley for development of residential housing units or commercial uses, with an additional 33,000 acres that have also been earmarked for potential development that have not yet been released.

The idea was for the BLM to be totally out of the urban land management business in the valley within five to 10 years,” Ford noted. “And that hasn’t happened.”

Multiple members of Las Vegas’s real estate industry have become increasingly vocal with their complaints over the two main issues they claim are affecting the shortage of land in the valley: zoning issues and permit delays that are seen as restrictive on the part of Clark County, and BLM’s seeming reluctance to set aside more land for residential or commercial development, either by releasing it outright or allowing it to go to auction.

When you have 2.9 million acres of land in Clark County, some of it environmentally sensitive land, which is really important, managing rural lands, why would (the BLM) spend 90 percent of the time on the 67,000 acres that are urban lands that are better managed by local units of government?” Ford said. “That’s the million-dollar question.”

Shelter Realty is a Real Estate and Property Management Company specializing in the areas of HendersonLas Vegas and North Las Vegas, NV. Feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379 so we can answer any questions you may have.

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