Fairbury seeking applicants for free housing repairs program

FAIRBURY, NE — Housing improvements might be more affordable than some people think in southeast Nebraska.

The City of Fairbury is working to spread the word about the Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program. The grant-funded program allows low income people to get certain home improvements completely paid for. City Administrator Robert Messbarger says it’s an important program because housing options are limited right now in Fairbury.

“So whether you’re looking to sell your house or looking just to improve your own house, this is a great option to do it in a financially responsible manner and improve the housing market within Fairbury,” Messbarger said.

Financial assistance generally starts around $5,000 and could get as high as $25,000. Eligible repairs include improvements to the foundation, roof, furnace, plumbing general maintenance and more. The only catch is the applicant must live in the house for five years to keep all the grant money.

Messbarger says the more people that participate, the more the town is able to grow.

“Adequate housing is huge," Messbarger said. "Without any housing, people aren’t going to look to come here to Fairbury. So we really want to improve the housing options both in quantity and in quality.”

Fairbury is allocated about $300,000 from the Southeast Nebraska Development District for the program. Messbarger says some of the funding could go away for future years if there aren’t enough applicants.

You can apply for assistance on the city’s website.