Lincoln group creates ‘scorecard’ tool to help evaluate affordable housing projects

By: - May 2, 2022 12:59 pm

Construction continues on a project near the intersection 13th and Howard Streets on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. (Rebecca S. Gratz for the Nebraska Examiner)

A Lincoln group is ready to launch a new tool — the “equitable development scorecard” — to help evaluate the benefits that a new housing project brings to the city and whether it meets affordable housing goals.

“As Lincoln continues to welcome new neighbors while tackling the affordable housing gap, it’s essential that equity is at the center of our community’s growth,” said a news release from the group, Collective Impact Lincoln, which is a partnership between Civic Nebraska and Nebraska Appleseed.

The scorecard is described as an easy-to-use tool for community members, city staff and developers to uniformly evaluate whether a housing project “will ultimately benefit Lincoln’s community and address its needs for affordable housing.”

The unofficial tool was developed over the last year, in part because group members repeatedly heard from community members that they could use such a method. According to the group’s “Housing Crisis” report, 91% of extremely low-income families spend more than one-third of their income on rent.

The Collective Impact group says the tool, to be available on its website later this week, is modeled after a similar scorecard created by Minneapolis Twin Cities community leaders and is designed to be accessible.

A May 11 event will be held to review the evaluation tool and also discuss the impacts of housing developments in the city. The 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. event, with food, will be free and open to the public at Shelter No. 1 in Lincoln’s Antelope Park.

The group asks for RSVPs to get an idea of food and beverage needs. Child care is to be provided.

Collective Impact Lincoln helps provide for resident-led change in Lincoln’s core areas. Through canvassing, community events and workshops, it aims to help people examine strengths and ways to improve their neighborhoods.

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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.