Federal Shutdown Leaves Lake Mead Homeowners Shut Out

The shutdown of the federal government is really hitting home for some with cabins on Lake Mead. Several of them who've been leasing federal land for their vacation homes about 70 miles from Las Vegas were told to pack up and leave their cabins until a federal budget passes and the government is again operating at full capacity. The evictions reportedly are sending some of them scrambling for shelter.

Joyce Spencer Lake Mead homeowner
KVVU; Morning Rush
About 60 families with homes on federal parkland surrounding the lake, which is on the Arizona-Nevada border, were given notice last week, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "They are all vacation homes and everybody who lives in them are considered visitors," the paper quotes a spokeswoman for the Lake Mead Recreational Area as saying. The structures are privately built and owned, but the terms for those leasing the federal land under them includes having an alternate residence. Practically speaking, that apparently isn't the case for everyone right now.

Joyce Spencer, 77, and her husband Ralph, 80, have had to stay in the family ice cream store and with relatives since the order was issued, reports Las Vegas TV station KTVN. Although she remembered his walker and scooter as they were leaving, she forgot her husband's pants, Spencer (pictured above) told the station.

The National Park Service says it's not going to force anyone to go pantsless, though. "If anybody needs to gather their personal belongings, we're not going to deny them access," the spokeswoman told the Review-Journal. "They just can't spend the nights there or have barbecues during the day. They need to get in and get out."

The newspaper says that after Hoover Dam was built -- creating Lake Mead -- federal land around it was leased at a low rate to encourage tourism, and that the annual rent for the land has gone from $500 to $2,400.

More stories related to housing and the federal shutdown:
How Government Shutdown Could Derail the Housing Recovery
How Mortgage Rates Are Rocking the Housing Market Rebound
Mortgage Applications Slip Even as Rates Fall

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