Beatrice Leaders Hear Workforce Housing Grant Plan

BEATRICE – The City of Beatrice is considering an offer from the Southeast Nebraska Development District to seek support for workforce housing, under a new state program.

Under LB 518, about $7 million of funding was placed in a pool to which communities can apply…for workforce housing or rental housing.

A SENDD representative met with the mayor and city council Monday night about possible participation by the city with other communities who also work with the development district.   City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer says state funding could be matched by other support toward workforce housing.

:19                  “in your community”

The program would be a form of revolving loan fund.   Money loaned to a developer and paid back, would then provide support for other projects.

The city is being asked to become a part of a regional grant application with other communities, with Southeast Nebraska Development District administering the program.   The pooling of funding from the communities, could then possibly draw larger matching amounts of state funding or Nebraska Investment Finance support.

Tempelmeyer explains how the funding can be used.

:24                  “for the group”

Some councilmen wonder whether the city could act alone, in applying for the grant funding.  Tempelmeyer says that’s possible.  The most likely source of local matching funds is from LB 840 funds, fueled by part of the city’s local sales tax.  At the end of 2017, the city had a balance in that fund, of about $550,000.

A late issue of regulations by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development on the program early this year, means the application deadline is approaching quickly…the end of March.

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