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CRANE
Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a CRANE project?
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A CRANE project develops out of a community’s comprehensive assessment of their housing, economic, and community development needs along with the collaboration of various resources from resource providers. A CRANE project also creates public\private partnerships to implement the CRANE development strategy. NIFA staff work with communities to identify these needs and opportunities for partnerships.


2. How do we know if our project could be a CRANE project?
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Developments requesting consideration under the CRANE program must provide substantial benefit in one or more of the following areas:

  • Housing for individuals with special needs (such as physical or mental disabilities, substance abuse issues, homeless, or those experiencing severe economic distress), including housing for distressed populations with incomes below 30% of the applicable Area Median Income (AMI). At least 25% of the units must serve individuals with special needs. Senior housing is considered special needs housing ONLY if all of the units in the development serves households with incomes below 30% of the applicable AMI.

  • Preservation of a development meeting the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation as interpreted by the National Park Service and involves the use of federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

  • Native American Housing

  • Housing developments in response to judicial findings (or settlement agreements or consent decrees) relating to housing deficiencies, housing discrimination or other housing issues

  • Housing developments that are part of a neighborhood redevelopment plan (which plan has been approved by appropriate city or county authorities) for which there is a significant and material public investment that also includes a minimum of 10% market rate units.

  • A housing development located in a community with a current state or presidential disaster declaration that resulted in the loss of housing as determined by NIFA


3. What is the CRANE application process?
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The first step in the CRANE application process is to contact Teresa Kile at teresa.kile@nifa.org with a brief description of your project and what makes it CRANE eligible. Once it is determined that your project is eligible, a CRANE application should be submitted. NIFA will accept CRANE Applications monthly by the close of the last business day thereof. NIFA will develop a timeline to assign categorization status in which to meet the requirements under the CRANE Program. All CRANE projects must meet all of the threshold items outlined in the annual QAP.


4. What are the benefits of using the CRANE process?
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The CRANE process is beneficial because it incorporates a comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of a community and brings various partners and resources together to accomplish the housing and community development goals of the community. NIFA is an active partner in this process, providing technical support and feedback throughout the planning and development process. NIFA also works jointly with other resource providers to evaluate proposed projects.


5. What are the differences between the CRANE program and the competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credit program?
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The key difference between the two programs is that the CRANE program is non-competitive. CRANE applications do not require site control, permissive zoning, and financing to be in place at the time of the application. While all applications must meet the threshold items outlined in the annual QAP, the applicants are able to provide these items as outlined in a work plan, under an established timeline developed in conjunction with NIFA staff and other partners. Once a CRANE project begins the application process, a Category designation is assigned to assess the remaining action steps in conjunction with the timeline. The category designations include the following:

    Category 4: Conceptual
    Category 3: Feasible
    Category 2: In Formation
    Category 1: Ready, in all aspects, to proceed (under contract)


6. Where are existing CRANE projects located?
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Existing CRANE projects include the following:

Drake Court Apartments -- Omaha, NE
Walnut Apartments -- Grand Island, NE
Livestock Exchange Building -- Omaha, NE
Courthouse Villa -- Bridgeport, NE
Valacia North Villa -- Gering, NE
Olympic Heights Subdivision -- Lincoln, NE
Old Mill Village -- Lincoln, NE
Heritage Hills -- Macy, NE
Fairbury ’23 Apartments -- Fairbury, NE
Thunderway -- Winnebago, NE
South Central Apartments -- Hastings, NE
Liberty Village -- Lincoln, NE
Omaha 100 – Scattered Site -- Omaha, NE
Ho-Chunk Winnebago Subdivision -- Winnebago, NE


7. What are the CRANE meetings that are held every month?
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The monthly CRANE meetings provide an opportunity for public comment and involvement in a CRANE project. Any statements or comments received at the public meetings are part of the public record.


8. How much funding is available through the CRANE program?
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NIFA has set aside up to 33% of Nebraska's annual LIHTC authority to be allocated pursuant to the CRANE Program under the 2014 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP).





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