community stories for southern Nevada

Families

Renters fight an uphill battle in Nevada

We’ve  heard many many stories about homeowners struggling to save their homes, to negotiate with lenders, to sort out whether or not to walk away. In this two-part series, we ask: what about renters. It turns out renters have been caught in the middle of the foreclosure crisis, and they’ve had the least to do with the mess, they’ve been affected quite dramatically by the fallout. And mistreatment of renters in southern Nevada, by lenders, by third party proxies, by landlords, appears to be on the rise.

Listen to the two-part series…

Part I is the story of a man who is trying to answer a seemingly simple question…who changed the locks on his rental condo? Hear his story:

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Part II…This year, legislators enacted a number of laws which give renters some more traction. How effective are these new laws, and where are they falling short?

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Shalis Front Door

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State of Nevada: Looking beyond the decline…

…and learning from the rust belt.

We did a show on KNPR’s State of Nevada, looking at the ballooning need for social services in Nevada. The state’s unemployment rate recently hit 13.2% (it’s higher in Las Vegas). Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes. The state’s Health and Human Services Department estimates that by 2013, 1 in 5 Nevadans will be on food stamps.

So, if the boom times are gone, what can we learn from cities that faced a similar decline years ago? On this edition of State of Nevada, we talked with the dynamic, young mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, Jay Williams. Williams shared some of the things he’s been trying to accomplish in Youngstown, a city that’s been declining since the steel mill heyday of the 50’s and 60’s. 

Smaller is better? Jay Williams says yes. Listen to Mayor Williams offer a little advice to Oscar Goodman, and to the rest of our show, here:

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Fantasy loan-mod football

Last week I blogged about Bobbi Giguere, the 41 year-old single mom who had the unusual opportunity to grill a Wells Fargo Exec in court about her stalled loan modification. Giguere had been working “through the system” for months, and getting nowhere (…well, she was actually headed somewhere….While Wells Fargo strung her along, the company was simultaneously moving to foreclose on her home…!) At her wits end, Giguere wrote to her bankruptcy judge and ended up getting to do what thousands of frustrated consumers can only dream about. Confront someone in charge:

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Bobbi Giguere joined us today on KNPR’s State of Nevada to continue the conversation. We were also joined by Nevada Bankers Association president Bill Uffelman, and Bill Buzenberg, Executive Director of the Center for Public Integrity:

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This morning on KNPR’s State of Nevada

Las Vegas has the worst housing market in the country; casinos and construction companies are slashing jobs. Among the thousands of Californians who flocked to Las Vegas during the boom times, many are now headed home. And thousand of un (or under) employed people are scouring the city to find work.

Today, producer Adam Burke joined Dave Berns on SoN, as part of KNPR’s continuing coverage of the economy in southern Nevada, and the continuation of our series: Belonging Las Vegas.

We discussed the current state of employment (and unemployment) with Ashley Powers and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times. They wrote an excellent two-part series on the economic meltdown in southern Nevada. She focused on the people who are looking for work in Vegas, in a piece called: Vegas Dreamers Go All In. A follow-up story on the Vegas economy, is called Luck runs out on Vegas boom.

Adam shared some of the stories he’s been hearing from people who are desperately looking for work, and played audio he gathered at a job fair at the Hard Rock Casino in June.

The segment ran between 10 and 10:30 am PST. You can listen here:

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“Lender won’t return our calls..”

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