Lincoln, NE (January 12, 2023) Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced that 130 rental housing units have been selected to receive grants as part of the City of Lincoln’s pilot Residential Rental Rehabilitation Project. The program offers up to $15,000 per dwelling unit to improve the quality of affordable rental housing by funding upgrades such as energy efficient windows and doors, additional insulation, roofing and foundation repairs, and other structural improvements.
“My administration is ahead of schedule on achieving our ambitious goal to create 5,000 new or rehabilitated affordable housing units by 2030,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “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.”
The pilot program focuses on parts of Near South and Everett neighborhoods in an area south of downtown bounded by Lincoln Mall, “A”, South Ninth and South 17th streets. The Urban Development Department and other stakeholders reviewed grant applications and prioritized their selections based on the opportunity to increase a rental unit’s affordability, energy efficiency, accessibility, and safety.
“Helping to extend the life of some of Lincoln’s most affordable housing for the next 30 years is a good investment in the future for Lincoln,” said Dan Marvin, Urban Development Director. “Losing an affordable housing unit, like those in the neighborhoods south of downtown, 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.”
The pilot program and grants are funded primarily through tax increment financing generated by improvements to the area. NeighborWorks Lincoln, a non-profit community housing development organization, will administer and monitor grant use. Participants will also be encouraged to take advantage of other available improvement programs, such as lead paint remediation, provided by the City, and energy efficiency programs offered by community partners like Lincoln Electric System and Black Hills Energy.
Marvin added that the benefits of the program will likely reach beyond the core of the city.
“This pilot program will help determine how we can extend this program to other parts of the City, working to address long-term affordability issues while preserving the quality of Lincoln’s housing,” Marvin said.
Joining Mayor Gaylor Baird for the announcement were Marvin; Wayne Mortenson, CEO of NeighborWorks Lincoln; Marc Shkolnick, Energy Services Manager, Lincoln Electric System; Brandy Johnson, Community Affairs Manager, Black Hills Energy; Jake Griess, property owner, and Greg Baker, Everett Neighborhood Association.
Mayor Gaylor Baird said the Residential Rental Rehabilitation Pilot Project demonstrates the positive impacts that can be delivered to Lincoln neighborhoods when government, its partners and residents work together.
“Maintaining and increasing the supply of safe, quality, affordable, and accessible housing is one of my administration’s top priorities,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “Our basic human need to be housed cuts across all ages and income levels and unites us around a shared vision to protect and advance the health, safety, economic opportunity, and quality of life of every Lincoln resident.”