LINCOLN, NE (STL.News) Governor Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) announced the recipients of $9,126,500 in grants under the 2020 round of Nebraska’s Rural Workforce Housing Fund (RWHF).
Created by the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Ricketts in 2017, the RWHF is designed to help communities increase their supply of quality, affordable housing to accommodate a growing workforce.
“Our state’s affordability makes Nebraska a great place to raise a family,” said Gov. Ricketts. “The Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act provides matching funds for our communities working to build high-quality, reasonably priced homes. The availability of affordable housing grows Nebraska by helping small towns and rural communities attract new businesses and residents.”
RWHF grants are available to eligible non-profit development organizations, who—often in collaboration with local employers and financial institutions—supply a minimum of 1:1 matching dollars to generate Rural Workforce Housing Investment Funds for project financing. Today’s recipients supplied more than $9.7 million in local match. DED administers RWHF funding on behalf of the State of Nebraska through a competitive application process.
“The Rural Workforce Housing Fund was, and is, an innovative program that has become a real success story for the state of Nebraska,” said DED Director Anthony L. Goins. “As a resource, it has been incredibly powerful in terms of enabling stakeholders to increase the scope and success of their investments in the housing inventory. That relates directly to our ability as a state and as individual communities to accommodate people, jobs, and economic growth. We as a Department are incredibly proud to administer this next round of Rural Workforce funding, and want to thank and congratulate today’s awardees for all the work they’re doing to tackle local housing needs.”
Since the RWHF’s inception and initial funding distribution of approximately $7 million in 2017, the Fund has helped finance more than 620 new housing units in 18 communities across the state. Prior to today, funds awarded through the program had already resulted in around $79.5 million in leveraged investments.
Today’s awards were made possible by a second, $10 million allocation by the Nebraska Legislature. DED will soon announce an additional round of applications to award the remaining $873,500.
Today’s announced recipients, their project areas, matching dollars, and amount awarded are listed below. For more information about the RWHF, visit opportunity.nebraska.gov/program/workforce-housing-fund. For questions, contact Nick Dropinski, Workforce Housing Coordinator, at [email protected] or 402-471-2095.