Increasing Lincoln’s Affordable Housing Supply
Lincoln faces a significant deficit of affordable housing. NeighborWorks Lincoln is focused on practical solutions that will improve access to an array of affordable housing options that will meet the needs of an increasingly diverse community.
Building high quality affordable housing lessens the financial burden associated with housing and improves the financial stability and economic resiliency of low- and middle-income families. Ultimately, individuals and families who purchase NeighborWorks homes worry less about their housing security or unexpected repair costs and parlay that stability into growth in other areas of their lives. These first time homeowners are able to send their children to the same school year-around, retire debts, build their savings, and pursue educational goals. This is how Lincoln can disrupt the cycle of poverty and ensure equitable opportunities to all children, regardless of birthplace.
One affordable home at a time, though, will not address the City’s challenging trends. In an effort to address current and future demand, NeighborWorks Lincoln is piloting tools, such as our citywide Land Trust, that will help protect and preserve permanent affordable housing.
NeighborWorks Lincoln builds a variety of new homes each year offered first to individuals who have completed the Homeownership Education Course. While each of the homes is built to the same high quality standards, not all of the homes are exactly the same. NeighborWorks builds one- and two-story single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses in neighborhoods across Lincoln, with special emphasis on core and disinvested areas. These homes range from 2 bedroom/1.5 bath layouts to units that are expandable to 5 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. This array of home type and size has historically accommodated a broad array of household types and family sizes.
To reach necessary production levels and ensure enduring affordability, NeighborWorks Lincoln will be narrowing this range over the next few years. Our focus will shift to smaller units that can meet the needs of our low- and middle-income clients during critical and transitional phases of their lives and help them transition into the non-subsidized market when they are ready to do so. Many of these homes will be placed into the Community Land Trust to ensure their resale to additional low- and middle-income buyers for years, and generations, to come.
In addition to building new homes, NeighborWorks Lincoln purchases and extensively renovates existing homes that we also prioritize for buyers that have completed the NeighborWorks Homebuyer Education Course. Our development team ensures that all renovated homes meet the same quality and safety standards that apply to new construction. The principal difference with acquisition/rehab is an overt focus on preventing unexpected repair or maintenance issues in the first five years of homeownership. In addition to layout improvements and modernization, we work to address any vulnerabilities within foundations, roofs, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, siding, etc. before selling the home to an income-qualified individual or family.
With the assistance of the NeighborWorkforce Fund, the organization is able to expand our service to middle-income and workforce households in the 80% to 120% of Area Median Income (AMI) range. These homes are typically more expensive to acquire and rehabilitate, but are placed back on the market for below market rate prices in qualifying neighborhoods that benefit from the improvement of overlooked homes. To see if you qualify for one of these units or to join the waiting list, please contact one of our homeownership team members.
Down Payment Assistance
NeighborWorks provides down payment assistance to help defray the costs associated with purchasing a home. This often-forgivable $25k to $35k loan covers a 5% down payment, closing costs, and a rehabilitation scope that varies per family on the basis of purchase price, rehabilitation scope, and household income level. This program has been among the most effective in increasing the supply of affordable housing while also stabilizing and reinvesting in critical Lincoln neighborhoods.
To learn more about the down payment assistance program, visit the Homeownership page.
Multi-Family and Rental
NeighborWorks Lincoln understand that homeownership is not feasible or advisable for everyone and that all healthy real estate markets boast an extensive array of rental options. We are actively seeking opportunities to acquire, develop, and help manage dignified and empowering rental homes, apartments, and condominiums. If you are interested in partnering with the organization in this work, please contact one of our real estate team members.