The City of Milford has received a $252,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

The grant was part of more than $7.5 million in funding through the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund for 2019.

Another $500,000 went to Blue Valley Community Action, which serves Seward County. Fifteen other organizations across the state also received money.

“We’re thrilled to announce a partnership with the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund that will enable housing rehabilitation efforts in Milford,” Milford Mayor Patrick Kelley wrote in a statement. “We look forward to actively working with NAHTF.”

The Milford City Council has appointed a short-term board to decide how to spend the money.

Administered by DED on behalf of the State of Nebraska, the NAHTF supports the development of quality, affordable housing in communities throughout the state.

This, in turn, promotes economic growth by empowering communities to attract and retain families and the workforce.

“The availability of housing influences our ability to attract people and job creators to our state,” DED Director Dave Rippe said. “There’s no shortage of families and young professionals who choose small- or medium-sized Nebraska communities for their terrific quality of life, but finding a home can be a challenge. 

Small towns can compete equally with cities for young professionals and families, but they must invest in and develop the resources to do so. The NAHTF is a statewide resource and investment tool that helps empower communities to address their housing needs.”

DED accepted applications for the 2019 NAHTF program year until late April. Eligible recipients include local governments, community action agencies, nonprofits, public housing authorities and for-profit developers and contractors working with another eligible applicant. 

Eligible activities range from the construction of new owner-occupied or rental units to existing unit rehabilitation, down payment assistance programs and non-profit technical assistance.

DED awarded 21 NAHTF applications through the 2019 annual program cycle to 17 separate communities and organizations, with awards totaling $7,571,750.

Kelley thanked Milford City Council members Kelly Heser and Jason Stahl, city clerk Jeanne

Hoggins, Gerry Dunlap of Farmers and Merchants Bank, Ashley Larson and Jim Warrelman of the Southeast Nebraska Development District and Jonathan Jank of the Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership for their work on the project.

“We’re grateful to all the community members who

provided all the letters of support for the application, as well as the program representative with the

Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nick Dropinski,” Kelley wrote. “This fund could not have been secured without the help also of Gov. Pete Ricketts, Dave Rippe, director, and the entire State of Nebraska Department of Economic Development who selected the City of Milford for this program.”

Later this year, NAHTF will award an additional $3 million under the NAHTF Disaster Recovery Housing Project Cycle, which was implemented in the wake of the March flooding.

The agency also awarded approximately $1.35 million this year to three recipients under the NAHTF Innovative Housing Demonstration Program.

More information can be found at https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/program/nebraska-affordable-housing-trust-fund.

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