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A new report revealed that after vetoing several bills that would have lowered housing costs for Nevada residents, Joe Lombardo hired a new chief of staff whose corporate landlord client stood to benefit directly from Lombardo’s anti-tenant vetoes. After Lombardo chose to cater to the slumlord billionaire who bankrolled his gubernatorial campaign and put Nevadans last, Lombardo appointed Ryan Cherry, who worked as a lobbyist during the 2023 legislative session for four companies, including an out-of-state landlord, National Apartment Management, LLC, according to the Nevada Legislature lobbyist site, as Chief of Staff. 

“Once again, Nevadans are confronted with further proof that Joe Lombardo’s priorities lie with billionaire donors, lobbyists, and special interests groups instead of their families,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Spokesperson Tai Sims. “For Lombardo to appoint a corporate housing lobbyist as his chief of staff in the midst of a statewide housing crisis is a slap in the face to the thousands of hardworking Nevadans who have faced devastating evictions and rent hikes. While Nevadans struggle to afford housing, Lombardo continues to reward his true beneficiaries: campaign donors and special interests.”

Read more about Lombardo’s ties to slumlords and how it impacts Nevadans below: 

The Nevadan: Lombardo tries to pin housing woes on Biden after vetoing bills and naming ex-housing lobbyist as chief of staff

By Mark Credico

Key points:

  • Nine months after vetoing affordable housing and renter protections bills, and three months after appointing a former property management company lobbyist as his chief of staff, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday asking the president to help address the state’s housing crisis.
  • But Lombardo vetoed five bills in the 2023 state legislature that involved affordable housing and renter protections, including bills that would have granted powers to cities to work on affordable housing, eliminated hidden fees, and protected tenants applying for rent assistance. 
  • The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance criticized Lombardo’s letter to the president following last year’s vetoes in a press release on Wednesday. The group accused the governor of passing off responsibility for the housing crisis to Biden while “foregoing in-state options that threaten to anger his largest donor, billionaire Robert Bigelow.”
  • Bigelow contributed to Lombardo’s gubernatorial campaign through political action committees and donations from various businesses and holding companies. 
  • According to the secretary of state’s database on campaign contributions, the billionaire gave over $8 million to the Better Nevada PAC and over $4 million to the Stronger Nevada PAC, both of which worked to elect Lombardo in 2022. 
  • “Governor Lombardo’s open plea to President Biden is myopic and shows his complete unwillingness to respond to Nevada’s housing crisis in a meaningful and lasting way,” Ben Iness, coalition coordinator of the Nevada Housing Justice Alliance, said in the statement. 
  • Lombardo has other ties to the housing industry, as well. 
  • At the end of 2023, Lombardo appointed Ryan Cherry to be his chief of staff at the start of the new year. Cherry previously worked with the offices of Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchinson and Sen. Dean Heller, and also worked as a lobbyist during the 2023 legislative session for four companies, including National Apartment Management, LLC, according to the Nevada Legislature lobbyist site. 
  • National Apartment Management, LLC, is a limited liability company registered in Nevada that is also a subsidiary of Big Rock Equities, a real estate conglomerate that owns three apartment complexes in Las Vegas, according to its website. National Apartment Management handles Big Rock’s “multi-family asset management” and manages over 4,300 properties in six states, according to Big Rock’s website. 
  • Lombardo also received $10,000 in campaign contributions last year from Steve Rayman, whose address on the governor’s campaign contributions and expenses report is the same address listed in the Nevada Legislature lobbyist site for National Apartment Management LLC. Rayman’s address is also the same as the one listed in the Nevada business portal for the two trusts of Big Rock executives that are labeled as “managing members” of the LLC. 
  • The Nevada governor additionally received campaign contributions from multiple developers and real estate companies last year, according to the report submitted to the secretary of state’s office. This includes $5,000 from American Homes 4 Rent LP, a rental real estate company officially called AMH that, according to its website, offers homes for rent in 24 neighborhoods in the Las Vegas Valley.
  • He also received $10,000 in campaign contributions from the Nevada Realtors PAC; $6,000 from the Gardner Group, a commercial real estate company with projects in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada; $10,000 from Donna Ruthe, owner and broker of Today’s Realty Inc.; $10,000 from David DelZotto, the founder and CEO of Remington Nevada, a real estate development company; and $10,000 from Remington Homes Ltd, among other donors. 
  • The governor’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

KLAS: Las Vegas rent increases leave senior citizens feeling ‘invisible’

By James Schaeffer

Key points:

  • The impact of a monthly rent increase by $100 is a common dilemma thousands of Las Vegas residents face, but senior citizens on a fixed income say they don’t have a way to fight back and worry their plight is becoming invisible in the eyes of the public.
  • LaRae Obemauf, 81, is about to pay for another $80 increase in her rent at her mobile home at the end of this month and she is frustrated because although her social security goes up every 12 months, she is experiencing a rent increase every six months.
  • “I get very angry, but I don’t just feel sorry for us, I worry about the elderly older than us,” she said. “We are invisible.”
  • LaRae and her husband Jim have adjusted to gas, water, and power increases and say they can’t sacrifice much more in costs.
  • “We are starving,” she said. “A lot of us are starving in here because we can’t afford to pay the rent.”
  • Kenneth Daniels, 61, a retired army cook, spoke to 8 News Now from his hospital bed where he is waiting to recover from kidney failure.
  • The search for a single unit for a handicapped senior for $750 has alluded Daniels but he hasn’t given up hope on finding a home after his experience with homelessness in Las Vegas.
  • “If I go back to the street I am as good as dead,” he said. “I need my oxygen from my machine.”
  • Daniels said he has called five apartment complexes with handicap-accessible amenities, but once he finds one that’s available, he is asked to prove he has double or triple the amount of income before applying.
  • Nevada still falls 85,000 rental units short for low-income residents, according to the National Coalition for Low Income.

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