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News: Program - Community Outreach

Housing programs available to rural communities


For many small Nebraska communities, housing is often identified as a top priority. Fortunately, there are a number of development organizations that can assist in the creation of low to moderate-income housing, including the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority (NIFA).

NIFA, in partnership with other development organizations, has created a number of programs that can immediately address a community's housing needs. These programs are scaleable and flexible to fit each individual community, and include asset-building initiatives, as well as affordable rental housing development.

For example, the CROWN Program helps communities to construct homes that are decent, safe, and permanently affordable for low-income residents; develop strong public/private partnerships to solve housing problems; offer renters a plan for homeownership; and restore unused, vacant, infill lots to become a neighborhood asset.

Bar-None Housing ( is another opportunity for communities who identify an immediate need for a limited number of reasonably sized, single family homes. These low maintenance, energy efficient modular homes are designed to provide ownership opportunities for individuals and families where income levels may have prevented previous home ownership.

The simplified home design, in conjunction with the Inmate Training Program of the Nebraska Department of Corrections, keeps the cost of these homes affordable. Individuals are restricted to purchasing one Bar-None home over their lifetime but non-profit and for profit developers can purchase multiple units.

Homes are constructed in Lincoln, and then moved to individual communities. While homes constructed by the inmates are less costly, the quality of homes is at or above the quality of similarly constructed homes provided by private construction. Great care is taken to purchase quality, name-brand materials that will meet or exceed local and national building codes and standards.

Free, pre-development advice from NIFA is also available to small communities who may be interested in starting a development process but are unfamiliar with where to begin. Referrals will also be made to other organizations like the Department of Economic Development, which allocates funds for technical assistance, infrastructure development, home construction, and housing rehabilitation.

If housing is a concern in your community, please contact NIFA at (402) 434-3900.

Originally appeared in the Eaglet, Eagle, Nebraska, April 2002

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200 Commerce CourtBullet1230 'O' StreetBulletLincoln, NE 68508
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