Nebraska Commission on Housing
and Homelessness (NCHH)
The combined commission called the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH) and is composed of 15 members appointed by the Governor as well as at-large non-voting members representing interests of each prior commission, council, or committee.
The objective of the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness is to develop ongoing, specific policies and program recommendations for the Governor that address affordable housing and homelessness/at risk of homelessness issues.
Issues include identifying and monitoring
the implementation of:
- Models of community-based affordable housing production and homeless/near-homeless programs;
- Progressive housing and homelessness/near-homelessness policies, plans and courses of action; and
- Continuum of Care-based models that provide supportive services for persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
To serve as the advisory body on housing and homelessness/near homelessness issues and to make recommendations on the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant Program and Homeless Shelter Assistance Trust Fund to the Governor and the Legislature.
Nebraska supports a statewide Continuum of Care which serves to coordinate services provided to all people and promotes, safe, decent, affordable, appropriate housing resulting in healthy, viable communities.
History of the Commission
The Nebraska Interagency Council on the Homeless was established on September 21, 1994, by Governor Nelson with Executive Order 94-6. The original Council was composed of approximately 30 members representing the Nebraska Crime Commission; State Departments of Agriculture, Corrections, Economic Development, Education, Health, Labor, Public Institutions, Social Services and Veterans Affairs; homeless shelter and assistance providers; community organizations; Federal, State and local agencies; advocacy groups, business and industry. The Council was charged to:
- Focus attention on and increase awareness of the needs of homeless families and persons in Nebraska;
- Encourage continuity, coordination and cooperation among state agencies and homeless service providers;
- Coordinate the development of a statewide comprehensive plan that established a method of periodically counting the number and types of homeless and near-homeless people and the causes of homelessness; provided an inventory of agencies and service providers; and established common terms and definitions for the purposes of data-gathering and program descriptions.
- Serve as an advisory body to the Governor on issues of homelessness.
On May 13, 1998, Executive Order 98-4 consolidated the Nebraska Affordable Housing Commission, the Nebraska Interagency Council on the Homeless, and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee in order to provide for efficiencies in the manner in which these issues were addressed in Nebraska.
Please click each commissioner’s name to view biographical information:
Nancy is the Chief Executive Officer of Housing Partners of Western Nebraska (formerly known as the Scotts Bluff County Housing Authority) She has served in that capacity for over 22 years growing the authority from 162 units and 410 Section 8 vouchers to an organization that manages Chappell, Gordon and Sidney Housing Authorities in addition to Scotts Bluff County, manages a 24 unit USDA 515 Elderly and Disabled complex in Gering; a Project-based Section 8 40-unit complex in Sidney as well as a private, non-HUD Sidney complex with 113 units and several former tax-credit properties, now HA owned in Scottsbluff and Gering. HPWN’s specialty is taking troubled properties and turning them around to High Performers which benefits the residents as well as the owners. HPWN just received 20 VASH vouchers to assist veterans with their housing needs. Bentley has successfully completed 5 LIHTC properties and has enjoyed seeing those properties come out of their initial 15-year compliance periods! She serves as an advocate for low-income families and particularly those with special needs who often do not have housing options.
Bio coming soon.
Roger is the founding Chief Executive Officer of NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska based in Norfolk, Nebraska. NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska originated in 1994 and currently serves seven counties providing Purchase/ Rehabilitation/ Resell, New Construction, Community Revitalization and Homebuyer Education programs. Under Roger’s direction, NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska has developed 950 single-family homes valuing more than 84 million dollars in northeast Nebraska. NeighborWorks America maintains an “Exemplary” status within the NeighborWorks America network.
Roger commits many hours of his personal and professional time to his community and furthering the mission of affordable housing. Roger is a recipient of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s Housing Hall of Fame. Roger is involved in the following organizations: Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Norfolk Noon Kiwanis, Nebraska Housing Developers Association-Past Chair, NeighborWorks America-Rural Advisory Council, and past Chair of the FHLBank Topeka Affordable Housing Advisory Council. Roger has been a Commissioner for the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness since 1998.
John Turner serves as the Manager of Community Development and Research at the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA). In this role, John leads NIFA’s existing and future community development programs, builds coalitions, and finds internal and external resources for such programs. He has over 27 years of experience in the housing industry. He has directed federal grants towards ending homelessness and is a leader throughout Nebraska in providing scattered site rental assistance for special populations. John is the current co-chair of the Continuum of Care committee.
Jeff M. Chambers
Jeff M. Chambers is the Community Services Project Director at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Center on Children, Families, and the Law. Jeff is a sociologist with over 25 years of experience working in the State of Nebraska and nationally in community systems and human services planning and evaluation. Jeff has worked with the Nebraska Balance of State and Lincoln Continua of Care and homeless service systems since 2000 and directs the UNL-CCFL efforts as the lead agency for the CoCs homeless management information system, coordinated entry system, CoC planning, analysis, and evaluation.
Lee Heflebower is the Domestic Violence and Economic Justice Specialist at the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. She has been serving individuals and families experiencing poverty, domestic violence, and homelessness for over 25 years in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent housing programs. Lee has been actively involved in numerous collaborative projects with local and regional housing and homelessness services organizations. She is Past-Chair of the Lincoln Homeless Coalition, Co-Chair of Project Connect Lincoln, a member of the Balance of State Continuum of Care, and a Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness since 2015. She has a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Lee serves as Chair of the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness.
Kathryn L. Mesner
Kathryn is an attorney and real estate developer from Central City, Nebraska. She and her husband, Clifford Mesner, own Mesner Development Co. and Mesner Law Office. The Mesners have developed Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects in Nebraska and Kansas for over twenty years. Many of these projects have been built in smaller communities providing much-needed new housing stock in rural areas.
In 2007 Kathryn was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness. She recently completed a two-year term as Chairperson of the Commission. Mesner Development Co. was the recipient of the “2012 Kansas Housing Resources Corporation’s Ad Astra Award for Housing Development (Urban)” for the 64-unit Echo Ridge Green Community serving tenants of the Topeka, Kansas Housing Authority. In 2006 the Mesners were inducted into the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s Housing Hall of Fame. In 2005 the Mesners were recognized by the Nebraska Housing Developers Association for Promoting and Investing in Housing Development.
Kathryn has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Allied Health from the University of Nebraska Medical School, a Master of Arts Degree in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Juris Doctor Degree graduating with distinction from the University Nebraska College of Law.
Judy is the owner of Pro Printing and Graphics in North Platte. Judy served on the North Platte City Council for 8 years. She has worked closely with many community partners including the Lincoln County Substandard Housing Coalition. Judy was recently appointed by the Governor as a Commissioner on the Nebraska Housing and Homeless Commission.
Brent is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Excel Development Group. Brent received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Business from Doane College. Brent is responsible for all Excel operations, including Property Management, Development, Construction, and Consulting. Excel specializes in the use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, the Federal HOME program, as well as other state programs, to successfully develop private and public projects that provide housing for low-to-moderate-income citizens in communities of all sizes. He oversees the design, construction, delivery and quality of the housing and services provided by Excel and its partners.
Brent serves as the primary spokesperson and representative for Excel and actively advocates for the need for housing for low-income families and seniors.
Brent currently serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, the Resource Committee for the Nebraska Housing Developers Association and is a Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness.
In his current role as President of RMD Real Estate Group, Ryan works with various communities across the Midwest to identify housing needs. Ryan’s diverse background includes Property Management, Development, Construction, and Consulting of market-rate and affordable housing. During his career, he has been involved with approximately $90 million of housing development, including both new construction and rehabilitation projects. Ryan works diligently to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure successful funding and oversees construction until property operations have successfully taken over the project. Ryan’s passion for increasing affordable housing and the prevention and ending of homelessness is evident through his role as Metro Area Continuum Care Homeless (MACCH) Board Director. In addition to his MACCH Board service, Ryan is also Board Director for Notre Dame Housing.
Tera Kucera serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Care Corps’ LifeHouse in Fremont Nebraska. Tera has a strong commitment and passion to advocate for safe, affordable housing with access to wrap around services across Nebraska. Tera has over 28 years’ experience in leadership and management, in both the private and non-profit sectors. Her primary areas of experience and expertise are staff development and empowerment, program development, project management, strategic planning, and execution of strategic initiatives, as well as community leadership. Tera manages multiple federal grants that focus on ending and preventing homelessness and she has over ten years’ experience in the housing and homelessness industry.
Milner is a Realtor with RE/MAX Concepts and a Market Sales leader with Allstate Insurance. Milner has a master’s degree in Leadership, and 15 years of experience in leading, managing and building relationships. Milner is a Nebraska native and was raised in a single parent poverty-stricken household and knows first-hand the fear of coming home to an eviction notice. She is a mother, an advocate, an ordained Minister and an active community member with a passion for fair housing. Milner looks forward to using her professional and personal experiences along with her resiliency, work ethic and passion for fair housing to service on the Commission.
Ms. Petersen is currently the Executive Director of the Central Nebraska Economic Development District, having assumed that role in January 2014. Prior to that, Ms. Petersen began her duties with the District as the Executive Director of Central Nebraska Housing Developers, the non-profit arm of the District, with primary duties in addressing housing needs throughout their 14-county region. As a Certified CDBG Administrator, Ms. Petersen has written and managed nearly $9 million in housing grants and funds to construct homes, repair homes, provide down payment assistance, and provide homebuyer education to low-to-moderate income individuals and families. In April 2017, Ms. Petersen began serving on the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Community Development Advisory Council.
Ms. Thelander is the Executive Director of the Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation (SWNCBC). SWNCBC is a non-profit organization that works to enhance the economic development of rural Southwestern Nebraska by bringing affordable housing opportunities to their five-county service area. Ms. Thelander has worked in affordable housing for the past 14 years and has written and managed nearly $4 million in NAHTF, HOME and CDBG housing grants to repair homes, provide down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers, and provide homebuyer education to low-to-moderate income individuals and families. Ms. Thelander also serves as a board member for the Nebraska Housing Developers Association.
This Commission is comprised of three Standing Committees in addition to the Executive Committee: Continuum of Care Committee; Policy & Issues committee; and Education & Awareness Committee.
Standing Committees will meet more than quarterly as deemed appropriate and elect a Chairperson from Commission members serving on the Committee. Members serve for one year or until their successors are appointed.
Non-Commission members may serve on the Policy and Issues Committee, Education and Awareness Committee, and Ad Hoc Committees when invited by the Committee and appointed by the Commission. Non-Commission members may serve on the Continuum of Care committee when invited by the Committee and appointed by the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program administrator.
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee is comprised of a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson. In addition to the officers, the Executive Committee shall include the past Chairperson by virtue of the office, the Chairpersons from the Standing Committees, and the Commission Coordinator. This committee is responsible to the Commission and makes recommendations for the development and review of such items as the agenda, minutes, by-laws, etc.
Lee Heflebower and Amy Thelander serve as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Commission’s Executive Committee.
The Continuum of Care Committee
The Continuum of Care Committee provides recommendations regarding the needs of individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. The committee proposes possible strategies to address these needs and to prevent and end homelessness in the future.
Lee Heflebower and John Turner serve as co-chairperson of the Commission’s State Continuum of Care Committee.
The Policies and Issues Committee
The Policies and Issues Committee reviews and advises the Commission on the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Annual Action Plan and Application Guidelines; the Rules and Regulations governing The Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Funds; the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s Qualified Allocation Plan and Application Guidelines. The committee monitors current legislation at both the State and Federal level and provides recommendations to the Commission on legislation that may affect housing or homelessness.
Judy Petersen serves as the Chairperson of the Commission’s Policies and Issues Committee.
The Education and Awareness Committee
The Education and Awareness Committee provides education and awareness to the general public in the State of Nebraska in relation to housing and homelessness issues. This includes collaboration with housing providers, housing developers and local continuums of care for the purpose of dissemination of information via social media outlets, public service announcements, news and radio media, etc…
Judy Pederson serves as the Chairperson of the Commission’s Education and Awareness Committee.
|February 15, 2023||NCHH 1st quarterly meeting||
NSOB-Lower Level C Conference Room
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
|May 17, 2023||NCHH 2nd quarterly meeting||Time: 12:30pm
Elkhorn Valley Bank and Trust
404 South 25th Street
Norfolk, NE 68701
|August 16, 2023||NCHH 3rd quarterly meeting||Time: TBD
|November 15, 2023||NCHH 4th quarterly meeting||Time: TBD
Location: Lincoln, NE
|2023-05: May Agenda||May 9, 2023|
|2023-02: February Agenda||February 3, 2023|
|2022-11: November Agenda||November 10, 2022|
|2022-08: August Agenda||August 10, 2022|
|2022-05: May Agenda||May 12, 2022|
|2022-02: February Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2021-11: November Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2021-09: September Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2021-06: June Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2021-03: March Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2020-11: November Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2020-09: September Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2020-06: June Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2020-04: April Agenda||February 18, 2022|
|2021-Minutes||ZIP||September 7, 2022|
|2020-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2019-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2018-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2017-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2016-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2015-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2014-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2013-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2012-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2011-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2010-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|
|2009-Minutes||ZIP||February 18, 2022|