Housing Secretary hosts roundtable discussion of affordable housing in Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- On the heels of acknowledging a report on black homeownership declining under President Trump's administration, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, is in Omaha to talk affordable-housing projects.

Carson headed a roundtable discussion Monday flanked by Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Rep. Don Bacon where the Secretary spoke of the benefits of public-private partnerships and mixed-income housing. The discussion was held at Highlander Apartments, part of a mixed-income development in North Omaha.

Earlier this year the city and Housing Authority received a $28 million grant to tear down Spencer Homes as part of a larger project to redevelop North Omaha. The secretary will be touring the Highlander, which is the hub of the redevelopment.

The Housing Authority has confirmed in previous reports that current residents of Spencer Homes will receive housing vouchers to find alternative housing while redevelopment is underway. Residents will also get vouchers to return once redevelopment is complete, according to the Housing Authority.

The Secretary asked the people on the ground how easy or how difficult it was to get the city and private donors on board for this project and asked if residents were involved in the redevelopment process.

Last month the city and Housing Authority applied for a second HUD grant to help fund plans to tear down the city’s largest public housing development - Southside Terrace Apts.