Lincoln announces $2 million pilot program to improve rental properties

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Thursday, Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced that 130 rental housing units have been selected to receive grants as part of the city’s Pilot Residential Rental Rehabilitation Project.

“My administration is ahead of schedule on achieving our ambitious goal to create 5,000 new or rehabilitated affordable housing units by 2030,” Gaylor Baird said.

The program offers $15,000 per dwelling to improve the quality of affordable rental housing through upgrades such as energy-efficient windows, additional insulation and other structural improvements.

“This new initiative to improve the quality and increase the affordability of our older housing stock in Lincoln will make life better for over 100 families in our community during this first phase,” Gaylor Baird said.

The pilot program, which has more than $2 million available, centers in an area south of downtown bounded by Lincoln Mall, A Street, Ninth Street and 17th Street.

The grants will primarily be funded through tax-increment financing generated by improvements to the area.

That’s when a government helps pay for new development using projected revenue gains.

Urban Development Director Dan Marvin says losing an affordable housing unit is a permanent loss to the community.

“Maintaining those units provides affordable, quality housing options for families and residents in neighborhoods that are walkable, bikeable, close to schools, and right next door to great downtown amenities,” he said.

NeighborWorks Lincoln, a nonprofit housing development organization, will distribute and monitor the grants, ensuring that the funds are used properly.

“And then to help the city ensure that the landlords are living up to their end of the bargain in keeping these units affordable for the long term,” CEO Wayne Mortenson said.

Participants are also encouraged to take advantage of other available improvement programs, such as lead paint remediation and energy-efficiency programs.

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