Nonprofit Spotlight: Community Housing Land Trust – new resource for Truckee Meadows |

Nonprofit Spotlight: Community Housing Land Trust – new resource for Truckee Meadows

The Community Foundation of Western Nevada sponsors this content

Find out more about our vision of The Dorms on Sage Street at
Courtesy Community Foundation of Western Nevada

This article was written by Chris Askin, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. To learn more, go to, call 775-333-5499 or email

RENO, Nev. — Housing has reached a crisis level in our region and, given our growing population, there is no relief on the horizon. It’s the topic on everyone’s mind, but what can we do about it?

Fortunately, there is a philanthropic model that has worked in other communities for decades—communities that faced rising housing costs before northern Nevada. Reno and Sparks have made laudable efforts to implement affordable and work force housing.

However, the missing element has been a Community Housing Land Trust, which requires partnerships between public, private, and social organizations such as the Community Foundation of Western Nevada.

Though we are not in the business of housing, we are in the right place to steward affordable housing in the community by creating the Community Housing Land Trust. We have experience receiving, selling, and operating property. We’ve worked with collaborative partners on a myriad of solutions to community issues.

We have deep relationships with regional private and public entities. Our existing administrative and management structures save hundreds of thousands of start-up dollars. Bottom line: We saw a serious problem in the community and needed to act.

Currently, the Community Housing Land Trust is working with the City of Reno on the transfer of appropriate parcels for projects ranging from traditional ownership opportunities, multi-family, and a dorm project. The first project, The Dorms on Sage Street, is a fast-moving opportunity that requires tremendous community support and cooperation to come to fruition.

The Dorms on Sage Street is a partnership between the Community Foundation, Volunteers of America, the City of Reno, philanthropic donors, and community developers and contractors. It will create new housing opportunities for working residents struggling to find an affordable residence.

The Dorms on Sage Street will fill a community need for bridge housing — a new, more affordable entry point for independent living. Northern Nevada residents served will vary from our youngest to our oldest working and fixed-income populations. We are excited that a safe living space could be offered for the affordable cost of 40% of AMI, or about $400 a month.

The target occupants for the dorms include income-qualified young people working full-time, displaced seniors living in motels, and anyone whose income is not high enough to pay market rates for an apartment. What does it take to qualify? Residents must have an income of about $1,300 a month (equal to $8.25 an hour for four weeks work), pass a criminal record check, and have basic references.

The Dorms on Sage Street will be comfortable, safe housing for those working hard but who can’t afford a place of their own. This housing will give 200 people the chance to get ahead, save money, and get support and advice to transition to the next step of their dreams or goals. We hope to make this happen before the snow flies.

The costs are significant, but per person the costs are a small fraction of what housing costs to build today and will create a solution to a looming community problem. Transitional or bridge housing for 200 is a critical link in the safety, security, and financial stability many people in our community need.

The Dorms on Sage Street is an “all hands” community project. Your contributions to the Community Foundation of Western Nevada are tax deductible. Make the critical difference by: writing a check to the “CHLT” (Community Housing Land Trust); use your social media to get the word out; or raise funds from your company by passing the hat.

Help make this project a reality for the hard-working members of our community who simply need a safe, comfortable place to live so they can focus on getting ahead. Contact Chris Askin or Nick Tscheekar at 775-333-5499 or

The Community Foundation of Western Nevada sponsors this content.


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