NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska City commissioners agreed Monday to invest in the Rural Workforce Housing Fund supported by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

The state Legislature created the fund in 2017 and provided additional funding in 2020. A a third appropriation is providing $29 million.

Nebraska City will make application through Southeast Nebraska Affordable Housing Council with a match of $200,000. The council is inviting four other communities to participate in the application round asking for a total of $1 million.

Kelly Gentrup, director of services for Southeast Nebraska Development District, said the program provides construction loans that are re-paid when a property sells. Construction qualifies if a new house does not sell above $325,000  or new rental units do not exceed $250,000.

Eligible projects also include owner-occupied rehabilitation and upper-story residential.

Gentrup: “The biggest intent is to meet the needs of our current workforce.”

Commissioners voted 5-0 to send a commitment letter for $200,000, as well as its housing study and reports of current housing projects.