Remarks at Harmon Pines
Senior Housing Project, Las Vegas
PREPARED REMARKS FOR
SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2007
Thank you for coming.
I have just completed a tour of the building site for the Harmon Pines Senior Apartments. I am very impressed. Within the year, rising out of the desert, this wonderful housing complex will be finished. There will be 103 units of affordable housing for seniors.
Senior families will call this home.
We all know the desperate need for more affordable housing in the Las Vegas Valley. We know that land is scarce, building costs are high, and the demand for affordable housing exceeds capacity. But through cooperative, innovative, and far-sighted cooperation we have made some progress in addressing the affordable housing shortage in Las Vegas.
This facility will literally be the answer to the prayers of seniors who have trouble affording a place to live. Here, qualifying seniors will be welcomed with a sound facility that will provide shelter, care, and peace of mind. This is a place to spend golden years in comfort and safety. That will be a blessing for the senior families who will live here.
I predict that the residents of Harmon Pines will do more than mark the days�they will live a meaningful life here, and build a strong and vibrant community together.
And you and I will look at this complex with satisfaction and pride. For this is a job well-done by all.
In fact, I believe this will be a model facility for the city, for the four-state region, and for the entire country.
I want to thank Senator Reid, who has been fully supportive of this project.
I would also like to thank Senator Ensign, who as a congressman long ago pushed through the Southern Nevada Lands Management Act. He had a vision about how to best use this land, and now we see the realization of that vision. His efforts enabled the Bureau of Land Management to sell this land to the State of Nevada. The condition of the sale is that land must be used for affordable housing.
I would also like to thank Juan Palma and the staff at the Bureau of Land Management for all their good work.
And I must thank the many city, county, state, and federal officials who worked to develop guidelines for development. This is what happens when we all work together.
I especially want to thank the County Commissioners for Clark County. They worked very hard to develop the proposal and to meet the requirements for this project.
And I want to thank Mike Mullen from Nevada H.A.N.D., the developer. Nevada H.A.N.D. was asked to build the project. They have done a first-class job.
Mike, your commitment to this project and to Nevada�s citizens has been steadfast�remarkable.
I am also pleased that my department provided $750,000 of Home funds for this project.
I want to recognize Ken LoBene (Low-BEAN), our field office director, for his wisdom and skillful handling of this innovative effort.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is just the first site. Another is already underway.
You see what is possible. The law can be a useful tool for further sales of BLM land for affordable housing projects.
I am hopeful that we will be able to construct many such facilities over the next ten years. I would like to see many more of these facilities rise from the desert. With cooperation and commitment, we can help those who need affordable housing.
Thank you again for coming.