The Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH), in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED), has officially announced this year’s winners of the annual Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund (NAHTF) Award.
Named after the NAHTF grant program — which is administered by DED on behalf of the State to promote quality, affordable housing across Nebraska — the award recognizes one project from each of the three congressional districts for the innovative use of NAHTF funds to achieve area housing objectives.
“This award is about recognizing the incredible work being performed each and every day by housing nonprofits across our state. It’s also about celebrating the vital impact of the Trust Fund, as well as other state and federal resources, that make affordable housing development possible,” said NCHH Chair Ryan Durant.
“It takes a special level of commitment, hard work, resource management and collaboration to solve community housing challenges,” he said. “But the results are tangible in terms of how they impact individuals, families and entire communities. Congratulations to this year’s awardees, and thanks to all who continue to do this important work on behalf of the people of Nebraska.”
DED Director Anthony L. Goins commented on the importance of the NAHTF, while expressing appreciation for this year’s honorees.
“The NAHTF is an absolutely essential resource for promoting quality, affordable housing that is accessible to the workforce and everyday families across Nebraska,” said Goins. “It is also vital to growing and enhancing our communities, enabling us to support activities that range from building or improving individual homes to rehabilitating entire neighborhoods. We wish to congratulate this year’s NAHTF Award winners for their well-planned, impactful projects; for serving their communities; and for advancing our shared vision to grow Nebraska.”
NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska takes home this year’s NAHTF award for Congressional District 1. The nonprofit is being recognized for its longstanding Purchase-Rehabilitation-Resale (PRR) program, which has restored and sold over 640 homes on behalf of low- and moderate-income families in 28 communities since 1996. The agency provides down payment assistance of 20%, or up to $20,000, as part of the program. Its PRR efforts have not only fulfilled local housing needs, but have been incredibly successful at raising property values throughout targeted communities.
In Congressional District 2, Holy Name Housing Development Corporation is being recognized for transforming a vacant lot into 18 quality and affordable housing units for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Adams Park Senior Cottages is among the first mixed-income developments in the city of Omaha to integrate an essential social services model, where residents gain access to a medical center, meals and community programming at nearby Heartland Family Service North Omaha Intergenerational Campus. The housing investment and land reuse are also considered an essential step in the progression of the 2011 North Omaha Village Revitalization Plan.
Finally, the City of Imperial takes home the award for Congressional District 3 for two major projects. The first utilized NAHTF funding to fill a large gap in the local housing inventory by constructing 15 new homes, including five speculative units, eight low-income rental units and two market-rate units. The second project constructed another five rental units targeting households at or below 120% of the area median income, plus one speculative unit for homeownership. The projects — highly successful in spite of the well-known challenges of developing housing in rural communities — have enhanced Imperial’s ability to attract and accommodate population growth, from young professionals to families with children.
Now in its second year, the NAHTF Award is typically announced at the 2020 Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA) Conference in March, which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19. The significance of the award, however, is undiminished, and it symbolizes excellence in achievement and a demonstrated commitment to local housing development and the expansion of economic opportunities.
Stay tuned this fall to nominate a local housing development organization for the 2021 NAHTF Award. For more information on the NAHTF program, visit https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/program/nebraska-affordable-housing-trust-fund/. To learn about NCHH, visit https://nchh.nebraska.gov.