Two projects honored for using State housing funds to change lives and transform communities.

The Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH) has announced the recipients of the 2024 Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund (NAHTF) Award. The annual award was established in 2018 to recognize organizations and projects that have leveraged Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Funds to create high-quality, affordable housing.

This year’s honorees are NeighborWorks Home Solutions and the Village of Clearwater.

“Communities throughout Nebraska are coming up with creative solutions to develop affordable housing,” said Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) Director K.C. Belitz. “DED is grateful to support many projects that are putting quality housing within reach of Nebraska’s families. Congratulations to this year’s NAHTF award winners! You’ve showcased what is possible when state and local leaders work together to take on a challenge.”

Administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the NAHTF is one of Nebraska’s largest annual resources for affordable housing development. Since 1996, the program has supported the construction or rehabilitation of thousands of homes throughout the state, while assisting nonprofits and local governments in their mission to address housing needs.

DED announced the most recent round of NAHTF awardees in October 2023. The agency awarded $12.75 million to assist 23 housing projects throughout Nebraska. The funding will support the construction of more than 260 housing units.

This year’s NAHTF awards celebrate projects undertaken from 2019 to the present. Award winners were announced last week in Lincoln during the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s Innovation Expo housing conference. Amy Thelander, current chair of NCHH, was on hand to present the awards.

“This year’s award-winning projects show the tremendous impact the NAHTF is having in both urban and rural communities,” said Thelander. “The partnership between NeighborWorks Home Solutions and Metro Community College met a critical need for housing while giving students in North Omaha opportunities to hone their construction skills. Meanwhile, the Village of Clearwater demonstrated how a small town can accomplish big things through shared vision, teamwork, and determination. Congratulations to the 2024 NAHTF honorees!”

About the 2024 NAHTF Awardees:

NeighborWorks Home Solutions received a NAHTF award of $338,800 in 2020, which was supplemented by a $20,000 match. The agency partnered with the construction management program at Metro Community College to build two modular houses on MCC’s Fort Omaha Campus. MCC students constructed the housing framing; ran electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems; and put up the drywall for these units. Students then helped move the houses from the build site to lots in North Omaha, where the modular units were put together and completed. Both homes have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a one-car attached garage.

The Village of Clearwater was awarded $221,000 through the NAHTF in 2021 and provided a local match of $35,000. With the funds, the village partnered with Stearns Construction to construct a beautiful new duplex. Both units have two bedrooms; one bathroom; and an attached, one-car garage. In August 2023, the community held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate completion of the project. Both units have since been sold.