In 1997, the City of Plainview was awarded $200,000 by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. This Community Development Block Grant was used to assist low-to-moderate income homeowners to rehabilitate their homes. Through the use of these funds, tremendous improvements were made in the community with the rehabilitation of 11 homes.
“We are pleased when we can enhance a family’s quality of life by simply improving its home,” said Plainview City Council Member Larry Pendergast. Mayor Michael Naprstek added, “In addition to the home looking nicer, our most significant measurable impact is the energy savings the family experiences. This frees up needed resources that can now be used in other ways.”
The Plainview housing project was undertaken just in time for a single-parent mother with two children who was on the verge of losing her home due to a fire. The housing rehabilitation funds were used to repair the fire damage and allow the family to remain in their home. Another family needed extensive work done so their home could accommodate their handicapped child; the housing rehabilitation project was able to make this vision a reality.
One homeowner stated, “Without this program, we would have had to wait a long time to replace our leaking roof, and we would have just kept on getting more and more water damage inside our home. The repair costs would have continued to increase, and I don’t know if we could have ever caught up.” The neighbor of one of the homeowners assisted with the Plainview funds pointed out that he believes his property value has increased because of the improvement in the appearance of his neighbor’s home. “It affected the whole block,” he stated. As a result of the project, this homeowner was motivated to make some long needed improvements to his own home.
Randy Alexander, the housing rehabilitation specialist who worked with the community on the Program, commented, “We saw some wonderful things happen in Plainview. The sense of pride this Program generates is remarkable. Additionally, the local economic development impact is substantial as we used local contractors and suppliers whenever possible, and through this work we enhanced the housing stock for future generations.”
The project was so successful that funds ran out before all eligible homeowners could be assisted. Therefore, the City of Plainview joined the City of Osmond to apply for a $400,000 CDBG grant that was awarded in July of 2001 to rehabilitate a minimum of 20 homes. To date, almost all funds have been committed and the community is again witnessing an increase in the quality of life of the project beneficiaries and their neighbors.
Plainview Housing Rehabilitation Program
Jennifer Buxton (DED Representative)
(402) 471-4168 • (800) 426-6505