Habitat for Humanity seeks funding for 25 new homes

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)-- Habitat for Humanity is going before the Omaha City Council this week to ask for help in returning dormant properties to the tax rolls.

Habitat for Humanity has a proven track record in neighborhoods across North Omaha, building new homes, helping eliminate vacant lots, and the eyesore of abandoned properties by creating a more solvent community through homeownership.

In a six-block area east of King Science Center, they plan on adding 25 new homes and families over the next two years.

“Not having rental properties, but it's the idea that you put families in homes and instead of a neighborhood where there are no kids and there's no involvement with the school,” said Ken Mar with Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat wants to buy a dozen properties and is asking the Omaha City Council for help.

They want TIF funding of just over a quarter of a million dollars to build infrastructure around the new properties and put vacant properties back on the tax rolls.

“A lot of these properties that are vacant are generating 50 to 100 dollars a year annually and we turn around and build a house on it and it's generating two thousand dollars… and all the things that we want as citizens that's what homeownership does, it drives tax revenues,” said Mar.

Mar says 60 new homes in the area were added last year.

“It’s not an investment for habitat its investment for the community and we see the importance of what it brings to north Omaha,” said Mar.

And helping address the problem of creating affordable housing in North Omaha.

Last year more than 14,000 volunteers helped Habitat for Humanity build homes mainly in North Omaha. The organization has built 1,600 homes across the state since 1984. They plan to start the project near King Science Center in the fall.