The Nevada Housing Rights Coalition on Monday urged local governments to take swift action to protect the health of Nevadans experiencing homelessness in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. The coalition sent the enclosed letter to the City of Reno and Washoe County, as well as the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson and Clark County.

On any given night, Nevada is home to 7,619 people experiencing homelessness, and more than half (53%) are unsheltered due to limited shelter and housing resources. Many of these individuals are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and often have compounding disabilities. Living in crowded shelter facilities or in unsheltered locations with poor access to necessary sanitation increases their vulnerability to this illness.

The Nevada Housing Rights Coalition called for state and local governments to:

  • Enact a statewide moratorium on evictions;
  • Follow the lead of other states that are utilizing emergency funding to place unsheltered individuals and families into vacant hotels and motels and in trailers in key locations;
  • Immediately place a moratorium on enforcement of any ban on camping; and
  • Immediately halt the clearing and disposal of tents and other sheltering materials to ensure that unhoused people do not lose what may be their only present means to self-quarantine and practice social distancing.

The Nevada Housing Rights Coalition advocates for economic justice and dignity for all Nevadans, especially those struggling with homelessness. Our membership includes community and advocacy organizations from across the state, including Nevada Homeless Alliance, ACLU of Nevada, Coalition of Nevada Legal Services Providers, Foundations for Recovery, and many more.

Contact Emily Paulsen, Nevada Homeless Alliance, 702-374-3988

What can you do?

  1. Call and email the Reno Justice Court and Sparks Justice Court to ask that they stop processing evictions for 60 days.

“Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work during this crisis. We know that the courts have had to make hard decisions in order to ensure the health and well-being of our communities and we are deeply grateful for your leadership during this time. I am calling to ask make another decision to protect our communities during this difficult time: please enact a moratorium on processing evictions. Las Vegas Justice Court, as well as several other Southern Nevada Justice Courts, took this action, but there are 40 justice courts in Nevada. It’s great that they showed this action is possible, but we need the same protections for Reno and Sparks. Please urge the Justices in the Reno and Sparks Justice Courts to stop processing evictions for 60 days.”

Reno Justice Court Administrator, James Conway: JConway@washoecounty.us, (775)325-6543

Sparks Justice Court Administrator, Anita Whitehead: awhitehead@washoecounty.us, (775)353-7600, ext. 3 (Civil Department) & ask to leave a message for the Court Administrator

2. Post on Social Media :

Businesses are closing & our neighbors are unable to pay rent. It’s time that our justice courts stop processing evictions & the cities enact a moratorium #EvictionMoratoriumNV #PeopleFirstNV #LaGentePrimeroNV https://actionn.org/nevada-housing-rights-coalition-calls-for-statewide-moratorium-on-evictions-camping-ban-enforcement/