Non-profit helping Nebraskans navigate post-pandemic housing market

COLUMBUS, Neb. - The housing market is hot and prices are high.

Cities like Omaha and Lincoln are seeing bidding wars push numbers well over the asking price and that trend is affecting markets in rural communities.

"The biggest challenge we have right now is supply," said Quelbin Izaguirre, COO of NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska .

The non-profit is dedicated to promoting home ownership across the northeast for low-income buyers.

"On top of that, the supply that is available is going up in price, so it's harder for lower-to-moderate income people to purchase a home," said Izaguirre.

This is a trend seen in bigger markets like Lincoln and Omaha, where tons of people are out-bidding each other creating high prices.

"I think rural Nebraska tends to have a little bit of lag time on the bigger cities and eventually we do feel some of those, it's just not as bad," said Izaguirre.

Despite the expensive properties, Izaguirre says people are still trying to find homes.

"We have the funds and everything to help the people but if there are no homes then it makes it difficult," said Izaguirre.

Non-profits like NeighborWorks help homeowners navigate high prices, but what do renters do?

Nebraska is sitting on $150,000,000 in COVID-19 relief funds for rental assistance, and only two percent of those funds have been used.

"The funds expire in October, so there's really a push to get the funds out and to the people who need it most," said Kayla Ramsay, Executive Director with the Norfolk Family Coalition.

Though it doesn't help homeowners, Ramsey says it's reaching an audience in need.

"To have those funds for people who don't normally qualify for our programs has been a game changer. For those people who I'm not sure what they would've done otherwise," said Ramsay.

Ramsay says she could see potential mortgage funds down the road to help Nebraska homeowners.

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