Omaha Habitat for Humanity hosts groundbreaking at new affordable housing site

Habitat for Humanity Omaha is calling its Bluestem Prairie development a first-of-its-kind project.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - State and local officials got together for a groundbreaking ceremony at the site that will replace the Wintergreen Apartments. The site was vacant for about 15 years.

Habitat for Humanity Omaha is calling its Bluestem Prairie Development a first-of-its-kind project.

The nonprofit’s new development will bring 85 multi-generational units to the area near 52nd and Sorensen.

Roughly one year ago the apartments had been demolished and the sight was a dumping ground. Now the area is being prepared for new growth. Dozens of affordable homes will be constructed there.

“What’s special about this development is we’re going to have 19 empty nester villas we know that is a need in the community,” said Tracie McPherson with Habitat for Humanity. “As well, we’re also going to have multi-generational houses.”

Eliana Nichols grew up in the neighborhood. She remembers the sight being a weed-covered lot.

“You know when you’re a kid you see a bunch of like trees and nature, you just do go over there,” Nichols said. “So it’s been that, but it’s also allowed for this neighborhood to be pretty secluded and quiet.”

The new development will help open up this area and help more people find homes.

New homes will soon be constructed in an area that was once home to a crime-plagued apartment complex.

“That particular piece of land had very little connectivity to the neighborhood. “You had one way in, one way out. We’re looking to put another entrance in, we’re hoping to put two entrances, we’re working with city planning for all of that.”

Habitat for Humanity will spend $25 million on this development and bring much-needed affordable housing to the community.

“Omaha is in an affordable housing crisis right now. We don’t have enough of it, so we were looking for a piece of land so we could do a development like this.”

Habitat for Humanity says the City of Omaha donated the land, and without that donation, the project would have been much more difficult to accomplish. Habitat Omaha hopes to have the project complete by 2025.

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