Lt. Governor Mike Foley was in town on Friday to help celebrate the past completion of housing units in O'Neill through the Nebraska Rural Workforce Housing Fund.
In 2017, the Nebraska Legislature reallocated approximately $7 million from the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Funds to create the Nebraska Rural Workforce Housing Fund. Business leaders and communities across the state have shared that the lack of affordable housing is a barrier to retaining and recruiting a workforce in rural Nebraska. The fund is targeted towards developing housing units that positively impact the availability of housing for today's workforce.
The City of O'Neill voted to partner with CNHED through a commitment of $150,000 from O'Neill LB840 funds to be provided as matching funds for the Rural Workforce Housing grant application program. Another partner, the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, also provided matching funds for this program, and the City of Valentine committed funds to the program.
These funds are loaned out through the Central Nebraska Housing and Economic Developers for construction on a revolving loan basis, which will perpetuate the investment of loan dollars well into the future.
In 2018, CNHED was awarded $239,630 in Rural Workforce Housing Funds and $241,150 in Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Funds to develop workforce housing in O'Neill and Valentine.
On Friday, the dignitaries celebrated the investment of $451,4376 into the three housing units in O'Neill, $191,574 from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development's Rural Workforce Housing Fund, $65,324 from the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, and $194,539 from the city of O'Neill.
"We would not be standing here today without the leadership of the Nebraska Legislature and the commitment of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority and the City of O'Neill," said Mayor Scott Menish.