State and local leaders celebrate the announcement of disaster recovery housing funds to support home construction in Bellevue (from left to right: Carolyn Pospisil, Executive Director of Housing Foundation for Sarpy County; State Senator Rita Sanders; Governor Jim Pillen; Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike; DED Director K.C. Belitz).

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has awarded $2,550,000 through the Affordable Housing Construction Program (AHCP) – Homeownership Production Program (HPP) for program year 2024. The two recipients are Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity and Housing Foundation for Sarpy County.

On February 9th, Governor Jim Pillen, DED Director K.C. Belitz, State Senator Rita Sanders, and Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike held a news conference to announce the AHCP-HPP award of $1.95 million to Housing Foundation for Sarpy Foundation. The organization will use it to build 13 homes in Bellevue, to the west of Offutt Air Force Base. Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity is being awarded $600,000 to construct four homes in Dodge County.

AHCP-HPP facilitates the construction of affordable housing, targeting areas federally designated as most impacted and distressed (MID) because of the 2019 flood disaster (DR-4420). This includes Dodge, Douglas, and Sarpy counties. The State distribution of federal and state aid has been ongoing since the floods occurred. Interest in disaster recovery housing programs has exceeded expectations, and DED continues to analyze program allocations to meet those needs.

In the wake of the 2019 floods, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated $108.9 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding to Nebraska. The State, in coordination with HUD, developed an action plan for implementation of these funds. Desired outcomes include the redevelopment and revitalization of affordable housing in flood-affected areas. Per HUD requirements, 80% of CDBG-DR funding must benefit the HUD-defined MID areas (Dodge, Douglas, and Sarpy counties), and 70% of Nebraska’s total allocation must be directed to low-to-moderate-income (LMI) residents.

In the fall of 2023, DED awarded $750,000 in HPP funds to Project Houseworks to support the construction of five (5) single-family homes on vacant lots in South Omaha. Several other projects were not selected due to missing the threshold for award. The Disaster Recovery Division provided technical assistance to these applicants to address concerns identified during the initial review and scoring process. Following a detailed review of resubmitted applications, additional projects have been identified for preliminary awards. Upon their completion, these projects will construct seventeen (17) new single-family homes that will be sold to qualified low-to-moderate-income households that have completed federally required housing counseling. The award recipients, their project areas, and amounts are listed below.

Affordable Housing Construction Program – Homeownership Production Program (AHCP-HPP) Award Recipients, February 2024
RecipientProject AreaHPP Award# of Homes
Fremont Area Habitat for HumanityFremont, Dodge County$600,0004
Housing Foundation for Sarpy CountyBellevue, Sarpy County$1,950,00013
Total $2,550,00017