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For information on ARPA-funded programs, please visit the Economic Recovery Programs page.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has announced three additional recipients under the Nebraska Rural Workforce Housing Fund (RWHF). The announced awards of $873,500 exhaust the balance that remained in the Fund for the 2020 application cycle following last April’s announcement of $9,126,500 to 14 recipients.

Created by the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act, which was signed into law by Governor Ricketts in 2017, the RWHF is designed to help finance quality, affordable workforce housing in counties of less than 100,000. Awarded to nonprofit developers in collaboration with local governments, and requiring at least a 1:1 local match, RWHF dollars are used to create revolving housing investment funds that are applied toward new-builds, home rehabilitations and other housing-related activities.

An initial investment into the RWHF in 2018 by the State Legislature — subsequently awarded by DED to 14 applicants — has already spurred the development of well over 600 housing units in nearly two dozen communities across the state, with project costs totaling more than $109 million and investments slated to continue as funding revolves. Notably, local employers are frequently among the organizations who contribute matching funds to support RWHF projects, speaking to the underlying importance of the program and its mission. The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) has also worked with numerous RWHF recipients to supply local match.

Given the program’s initial success and the need for more workforce housing development, the State Legislature allocated another $10 million to the RWHF for award in 2020. DED awarded $9.1 million of that amount last spring before opening a second round of applications to utilize the remaining unspent balance.

DED Director Anthony L. Goins remarked on the value of the RWHF, while thanking NIFA for its ongoing collaboration and support.

“The Rural Workforce Housing Fund has made an incredible impact in Nebraska in only a few short years, and is helping us achieve the mission to grow our state’s housing inventory,” said Goins. “Workforce housing needs to be a priority for the foreseeable future, and we congratulate today’s, and all, funding recipients for seizing this opportunity to make progress in their communities and service areas. We also appreciate the support of NIFA, without whom the tremendous success of this program would have been difficult to achieve.”

Today’s recipients, their award amounts and matching funds are provided below. For more information, visit DED’s Rural Workforce Housing Fund webpage at https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/program/workforce-housing-fund/. For questions, contact Nick Dropinski, Workforce Housing Specialist, at nick.dropinski@nebraska.gov or 402-580-0713.

 

2021 Rural Workforce Housing Fund Recipients, Round 2 

Organization Awarded Amount Matching Funds
Custer Economic Development Corporation

$400,000

$464,000

South Central Economic Development District, Inc.

$160,000

$163,000

Dawson County Area Economic Development

$313,500

$500,000

Total

$873,500

$1,127,000