Briefly

Front Porch team awards funds to 14 Omaha housing programs, projects

By: - November 18, 2022 4:00 am

Front Porch Investments (Courtesy of Zac Gudakov on Unsplash)

OMAHA — The winners of about $11 million in housing-related loans and grants were announced Thursday, and in part should spark the creation of up to 645 affordable dwellings in the city.

The awards come mostly from American Rescue Plan Act funds that the City of Omaha previously directed to nonprofit Front Porch Investments.

Front Porch’s board of directors and city representatives reviewed 26 applications totaling nearly $25 million in requests.

Of those, 14 projects and programs were selected, marking the official launch of Front Porch’s development and preservation fund.

Additional funding cycles are to open in February and August next year.

“We heard Omaha residents in 2021 when they named housing as a priority,” Mayor Jean Stothert said in a prepared statement. 

Winning projects target households that earn less than 120% of area median income and include affordable housing for seniors, housing-related solutions for at-risk youth and support to emerging developers.

Of the $11 million in awards, the bulk, more than $9 million, is to be in the form of low-interest loans to help kick start a project or program. The remainder is in grants from philanthropic funding sources.

Federal rules call for ARPA funds to be spent by December 2026. The city and Front Porch strategy is to invest the ARPA funds on short-term low-interest loans that would be repaid in 2025. Those recouped funds then would be available for a second time in the form of grants.

“The impact we will see in our community from this ARPA partnership is further maximized by the opportunity to utilize the funds twice, increasing the number of projects that can be supported by these funds,” said Meridith Dillon, Front Porch executive director.

Loan recipients:

  • 30th & Sorensen LLC, $535,500  
  • AI Investment LLC, $720,000 
  • C & N Investments LLC, $400,000 
  • Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Inc., $1 million
  • inCOMMON Community Development, $1.5 million 
  • Straightline Development LLC, $1 million 
  • Talented 10th Group Inc.,  $490,000 
  • Youth Emergency Services, Inc. $3.5 million

Grant recipients:  

  • Autism Action Partnership, $50,000 
  • Family Housing Advisory Services, $105,000 
  • Heartland Family Services, $199,920
  • Mercy Housing Midwest, $500,000
  • Metro Housing Collaborative, $373,000 
  • Omaha By Design, $80,000 

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.

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