It’s been 27 years since Nancy Striebel’s first experience as an “insider” in North Platte’s housing market. Her personal quest to find her own Lincoln County home shaped her career – and her passion – to fulfill a continued local need for affordable, available housing.
“When we moved here in 1991, we couldn’t find housing. It was a seller’s market; most people already had offers on homes, so I worked with Sheri Bourne at Gateway Realty to find the right house for my family. So, I understand from all perspectives when Nebraskans talk about a housing shortage.”
Ten years later, Striebel began to channel her experience as a local homebuyer and community developer to build a county-wide support system to grow new housing opportunities. As Executive Director of Lincoln County Community Development Corporation (LCCDC), Striebel and her board build on those opportunities to provide affordable housing for area residents. Since 1996, the non-profit organization has participated in the rehabilitation or construction of over 300 housing units in the county.
One of the group’s most recent projects exemplifies Striebel’s ability to spur housing growth through state and local partnerships. A local landowner’s act of generosity nearly eight years ago evolved into a six-home project following her donation of one city block to LCCDC. The group collaborated with the City of North Platte and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) to utilize Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the State of Nebraska, which paid for the pavement of sidewalks on 13th, Custer and Carr Streets. Private donors gifted eight vacant homes to fill the space, which were supported with new infrastructure courtesy of the city.
Construction projects on the same property are currently underway, which include two 1,200- square-foot, three bedroom/one bath units. All of the developing properties have been sold.
“This city block, once filled with dirt streets and empty lots, now houses nine families; families that may have otherwise moved outside of our city,” Striebel said. “We are thrilled to help create these opportunities for first-time, local homeowners, and when it comes to working with the city and the state, we’ve been partners all the way.”
LCCDC’s Purchase Rehab Resale program assisted in the recent completion of several properties in North Platte’s Sheridan Estates subdivision in 2017. LCCDC’s ability to buy and rehabilitate homes comes with an additional benefit for homeowners; the group offers $5,000 in down payments and closing costs for local families at or below 80% of Lincoln County’s area median income.
“Providing housing assistance for teachers, nurses, firefighters and others who add great value to our community is a driver of our organization,” said Striebel. “These are hardworking people who help Lincoln County thrive.”
Educational support and guidance are at the forefront of the group’s efforts to encourage stability and growth in Lincoln County’s housing market. The way Striebel sees it, knowledge is a powerful stepping stone for potential homebuyers.
“Is part of our ‘end goal’ to provide safe and structurally sound housing for local residents? Absolutely,” Striebel says. ”Part of that process is also offering the right tools to build confidence among potential homebuyers, which often creates an incentive for residents who want to make long-term investments in our homes and our community.”
The group offers homebuyers classes to guide first-time purchasers in Lincoln County’s housing market, and highlights just one of LCCDC’s local partnerships to support housing efforts. North Platte Community College hosts the organization’s Home Buyer Education Class every other month on an annual basis.
As new units spring up in Lincoln County, Striebel continues to develop her career-long commitment to inspire Nebraskans’ appreciation for our state and all it has to offer.
“Housing, neighborhood and park developments are something I’ve always focused on, and what’s lovely is that it’s always been a proactive thing for people,” Striebel said. “With each new project, LCCDC has another tool to show Nebraskans that we have unique opportunities here, and most importantly, that we have room to grow.”
For more information about the Lincoln County Community Development Corporation, call 308-534-5095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.