The public is invited to an open house Wednesday, July 31 at 1520 Van Dorn to celebrate the redevelopment of the property at that location. The event is from 4 to 6 p.m., and City Urban Development Director Dave Landis will speak at 5:30 p.m.
The project began when Irvingdale neighborhood residents contacted the City about the abandoned house at that address. The Building and Safety Department cited the property, and the City Attorney's Office resolved ownership issues. Once the City was able to foreclose, Urban Development bought the property for $13,000. The existing house was demolished and the City partnered with Prairie Gold Homes to build a new house at the site. Prairie Gold Homes helps inmates gain job skills while building affordable, energy-efficient housing for our community. The nonprofit operates in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and Cornhusker State Industries.
Landis said the project site on Van Dorn was one of 26 blighted properties the City has rehabilitated or redeveloped so far using federal stimulus funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP helps neighborhoods suffering from housing foreclosures or vacant, blighted properties. Working with Affordable Housing Initiative, Habitat for Humanity and NeighborWorks-Lincoln, the City focused on properties in the Malone, Clinton, Near South and Everett neighborhoods.
The improved properties were then sold to buyers who completed home-buyer training through NeighborWorks-Lincoln. The buyers obtained a first mortgage through the bank of their choice and receive down payment assistance through the City's First Home Program. Upon closing, the City received most of the NSP funds invested in the project to be used again to assist on more projects.
"The new house at 1520 Van Dorn is just one example of how the City is using these federal funds to make a real difference in our neighborhoods," Landis said. "Urban Development and our housing partners are now working on additional projects using the NSP funds we received back from the sale of our first round of houses."
For more information on Urban Development's housing programs, visit lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: housing).