A snapshot of those indicators is below:
• For Families in the Truckee Meadows some “things” cost less: The cost of living relative to other cities has declined from 107.9 in 2006 to 98.3 in 2011, although food and transportation are rising in 2012. The housing opportunity index has risen with falling housing prices, from 17.3 in 2006 to 82.5 in 2011, making housing more affordable. Average monthly rent and utility costs have remained the same, at $873 in 2007 and 2010.
• But families have less to make ends meet: The percentage of families with income below poverty has risen from 6.5 percent in 2006 to 10.8 percent in 2010; and the percentage of the area’s population without health insurance has risen from 17.4 percent to 22.3 percent for the same period. Median family income has fallen from $66,335 in 2006 to $61,119 in 2010. The percentage of people paying more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities has risen from 38 percent in 2006 to 45 percent in 2010 for owners and from 44 percent to 54 percent for renters. This reflects the impact of falling income and unemployment, even though housing costs have remained constant or declined.
• While the economy stabilizes: Employment-to-labor force population ratio of 0.88, as of March, has improved to 2009 levels. The number of building permits rose in 2011 for Reno and Washoe County, while the valuation rose for all three local entities. The Washoe County Crime Index rates continue to trend downward, well below Nevada, the Western states and national rate.
• Citizens are increasingly unengaged. Voter registration and turnout is trending down, and less than 45 percent of the eligible population actually votes. Citizen involvement with local governments is down during a time when difficult decisions are being made about essential or priority services.
Since 1993, TMT has been an authority, change agent and advocate, focused on improving the community’s quality of life through collaboration and partnership across northwestern Nevada. In 1996, TMT received a $750,000 grant from Washoe Medical Center (now Renown Health.), which supported TMT through 2001. Of that $750,000, community organizations received $500,000 to impact change in indicator areas. Since 2003 memberships, sponsorships, small grants, events and donations have sustained TMT programs, including updating its community indicators.