Listening session to provide opportunity to address housing needs

By Brooke Pankonin

Grant Tribune Sentinel

Perkins County residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the housing needs of the county during a housing listening session on Wednesday, June 21 at Grant City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Resident input will greatly assist Southwest Community Betterment Corporation (SWNCBC) in completing a county-wide housing study with strategies for affordable housing. The focus of the study is to find the biggest housing needs in the community. 

One part of the study consisted of residents completing surveys in late March to early April. Only 111 total surveys were received. 

Deb Marshall, program manager at SWNCNC said the housing study is extremely important in regards to receiving any kind of funding, whether it be for the programs SWNCBC works with or if someone wants to complete new construction. 

“[Participation] shows that the community is really focusing on what the needs of their community are. That’s where this listening session comes in,” she said.

The session will allow the people of the community to express their concerns in regards to housing.

“Once we find out what those needs are, it helps us seek out what funding is available to provide and meet some of those needs,” explained Marshall. 

She said the number one need statewide is lack of affordable housing. With SWNCBC being a small non-profit organization, new construction is not an option without multiple levels of funding. 

“SWNCBC focuses on other areas such as preserving the existing housing stock we have in the area through owner-occupied rehabilitation programs, purchase, rehab, resale programs and down payment/closing costs assistance programs.”

Hanna:Keelan Associates, P.C., a community planning and research consulting firm based in Lincoln is conducting the study, which is being funded by SWNCBC and a housing grant provided by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority.

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