Nonprofit launches process to award millions of dollars to expand affordable housing

By: - August 23, 2022 10:00 am

Front Porch Investments (Courtesy of Zac Gudakov on Unsplash)

Have an idea that expands affordable housing options in Omaha?

Front Porch Investments, in partnership with the City of Omaha, is seeking real estate developers and other applicants interested in a chunk of $40 million that’s been earmarked for affordable housing projects.

Proposals for the initial round of funding are due by noon Sept. 13. They’ll be “vetted through a strategic priorities lens,” and chosen recipients will be announced in November, according to a media release from the nonprofit Front Porch.

The funds come from the $20 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars the city earlier directed to the Front Porch Development and Preservation Fund. That amount is being matched by philanthropic contributions handled by Front Porch.

First-round proposals are to focus on grants, short-term loans and property development that increases affordable housing options in Omaha. Both nonprofit and for-profit developers are eligible to apply.

Winning projects will target households that earn less than 120% of area median income.

Local banking agents and other guidance is available to applicants who need help preparing financial documents for proposals.

Federal rules call for ARPA funds to be spent by December 2026. The city and Front Porch have a strategy to use the bulk of ARPA funds twice before the deadline, through one round of short-term loans, followed by a second round of grants to housing-focused nonprofits.

Because the short-term loans would be repaid in 2025, the money would be available for a second time in the form of grants.

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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.