LINCOLN — A private nonprofit that develops housing in an eight-county area of northeast Nebraska has been awarded $520,000 from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.
The federal funds awarded to NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME Investment Partnerships program. The DED administers the HOME program in Nebraska, and the allocation is under the Community Housing Development Organization cycle for 2022.
According to a news release, NeighborWorks plans to use $500,000 to help purchase land and construct housing accessible to low- to moderate-income people in either Columbus or Norfolk, and to provide homebuyer assistance.
The remaining $20,000 is for organizational operating expenses, the release said.
Demand for more affordable housing has become an increasingly high-profile conversation across the state and in the Legislature. A study released earlier this year and led by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority said Nebraska’s economic future hinges on solving its “housing crisis.”
The study, which offered input from dozens of statewide experts and policy makers, called for 35,000 new affordable dwellings in the state over the next five years. No specific allocation of funding was provided to carry out recommendations of the study, but committees were formed to work toward goals.
HOME funds are to be used to support low- and moderate-income residents. Over the past six years, HOME funding has helped finance construction of more than 750 housing units across Nebraska, according to the DED.
“Federal funds through the HOME program support DED’s work to provide affordable housing options for more families in Nebraska, “ said the department’s interim director Joe Fox.
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