Affordable housing funds awarded in Omaha

$11 million in grants will bring 600+ new housing units to the area
Millions awarded on Thursday for housing projects will help Omaha improve the housing crisis here.
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 9:13 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In a continued attempt to address the affordable housing crisis in the Omaha metro, several local organizations were awarded grants and low-interest loans Thursday to create new affordable units.

In August, the City of Omaha announced plans to address the housing crisis through $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. Those funds were matched through a partnership with Front Porch Investments thanks to private donors.

Thursday morning, 14 local organizations were awarded just over $11 million of that funding to create new affordable units and to preserve existing housing.

“The fact that the city is starting to get behind it and put some of their weight into the projects, it means things will get done,” says Jim Posey, with Straightline Developments.

Posey’s company was awarded $1 million, and he will use that to redevelop a former nursing home facility near 49th and Sorenson.

“That project will become 160 apartments, they’re going to be affordable housing, cater to the 60% of the area median income,” he says. “It was a blessing, it really was, it provides $1 million to us at a super low-interest rate, and it helps save us quite a bit of carrying cost which at the end of the day, helps make the project a little more viable and get developed.”

Grants awarded on Thursday will boost construction of affordable housing in Omaha.

The units will cater to seniors and will include 40 studio apartments, 114 one-bedroom apartments, and six two-bedroom apartments.

“It’s in short supply. In reality, affordable apartments are in short, short supply, and we’re just trying to you know, help fill a need,” Posey adds.

In a press release from Thursday, Front Porch Investments says they received 26 applications from groups seeking to build and maintain affordable units in the area. Another funding cycle will open in February and again in August, the release says.

The first $11 million will help create a total of 645 new housing units.

Right now, it’s estimated that more than 55,000 households in the Metro are cost-burdened, meaning they spend %30 or more of their income on housing alone.

Waitlists for current affordable units continue to grow, too.