City of Beatrice Considering Workforce Housing Application

BEATRICE – Beatrice City officials could consider in two weeks, whether to apply for workforce housing grant money, under an agreement with the Southeast Nebraska Development District.

The Mayor and City Council Monday night discussed fronting up to $250,000 from LB 840 economic development funding, for the city’s match.  LB 518, passed last year by the Nebraska Legislature, allocated a total of $7 million toward workforce housing projects in the state.  Communities that provide funding can have that money matched by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority and the Department of Economic Development.  City Councilman Ted Fairbanks likes the program, but wonders whether the city should apply on its’ own, rather than banding with other communities on an application.

:30                  “because of that”

The grant program is intended for homes up to $275,000 each, or multiple family units up to $200,000 each.   There are other uses, such as rehabilitating homes or downtown upper floor housing.  Executive Director of Gage Area Growth Enterprise, Walker Zulkoski, says there are significant opportunities through the program.

:22                  “rate of return”

Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth says the program which establishes a revolving loan fund appears to be project-driven, not based on the size of a community.  Zulkoski says regional workforce housing is of benefit to more than just one city.

:20                  “helps everyone”

The application deadline is March 30th, and the revolving loan program must be operated through a non-profit development organization, such as SENDD.

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