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Grand Island revamps its homebuyer programming

Positive projects, success stories are hallmark of federal CDBG program
           
APRIL 8, 2010 (GRAND ISLAND, NEB.)—Grand Island (pop. 42,954) took an old idea and transformed it through a new program. The City has offered first-time homebuyer programs for the past 30 years, but in 2005 the Nebraska Department of Economic Development created the Community Revitalization program that allowed communities to apply for a three-year span of funding for a variety of projects in a designated target area. After meeting certain requirements, Grand Island applied for and received Community Revitalization funding.
           
During the project’s second phase, Grand Island was awarded $261,010 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to rehabilitate seven owner-occupied homes, and administer two down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers. Specifically, funds went toward replacing and repairing roofs, adding insulation, replacing doors and windows, installing new furnaces and water heaters, adding or repairing siding, repairing foundations, improving electrical and plumbing services, and many other projects.

The City was able to address a wide array of needs with funding that was not otherwise available in the general budget, according to Grand Island Mayor Margaret Hornady.

“Community Development Block Grants are an important tool to local municipal governments. Recently, we were able to rehabilitate several owner occupied houses in the oldest part of town.  We’ve also used funds to assist first-time home buyers in owning their own homes. Each owner-occupied home helps to stabilize a neighborhood and typically increases the aesthetic appearance of that area.  In short, communities are able to tackle important issues, projects and programs that they would not otherwise be able to address without CDBG funding. It is important to us,” said Mayor Hornady.
           
Citizens also have voiced their support of the Community Revitalization program. A homeowner involved with the ongoing project said, “I am very satisfied with my home improvements and really do appreciate the CDBG program. My home looks great! I’ve encouraged several people who could also benefit from this program to look into it.”

Future plans for the community already include undertaking a new 2010-2013 Community Revitalization plan in a new target area starting in the spring.

Communities statewide are invited and encouraged to celebrate and publicize CD Week at the local level. Housing, infrastructure, public works, and business development are a few areas that receive critical assistance through the CDBG program.

For information on CD Week, contact Sara Watson at 800-426-6505, 402-471-4168, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about the project in Grand Island, contact Barbara Quandt at 308-385-5444 ext. 246 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Talent & Innovation Initiative (TI2)

One of the most important accomplishments of the 2011 legislative session was the passage of several bills focused on creating new momentum for developing and attracting businesses rooted in technology and innovation—Talent and Innovation Initiative. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development is in the early stages of implementation of the initiative and additional information on each program can be found here as it becomes available.

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Nebraska Department of Economic Development | Courtney Dentlinger, Department Director
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Phone (800) 426-6505 | Fax (402) 471-3778