NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City has been awarded a $500,000 grant to help flip distressed houses for resale.
City Administrator Grayson Path said affordable, available and quality housing is a concern in Nebraska City. He also said city zoning setbacks can make it hard to build new on narrow lots.
Path: “If we can keep a house that is already there, there and viable, that can be a win-win for the community. It can sometimes be cheaper to rehab a house than to tear out and do all new, so the idea is to take this distressed home and rehab it.”
The purchase, rehab and resale program is not new to Nebraska. The City of York purchases speculative property, upgrades it to meet federal housing standards and resells. The city coordinates with other programs to provide down payment assistance of up to 20 percent of the purchase price.
Path expects Nebraska City to start with three houses.
Path: “The idea is you buy the house, rehab the house, sell the house and then, hopefully, we can use that money to do another house and another house.”
He said the program can improve the city’s housing stock without jeopardizing the livelihood of existing developers.
Path: “We don’t want to compete with our current developers and so, if there is a house that a landlord or a person wants to buy and rehab themselves, we don’t want to compete with that. We’re just looking for the houses that, really, no one is touching.”
Improvements to Sixth Street from First Avenue as far north as Eighth Street are also part of the grant funding.