|Feb 09, 2012 --
The Norfolk Area Habitat for Humanity (NAHFH) wanted to expand the impact of its home construction program, and get a more immediate return on investment so it could help the greatest number of people in need. USDA Rural Development was the agency NAHFH felt was best suited to help those in need.
In creating this partnership, NAHFH’s Board of Directors decided that all NAHFH applicants would first complete a pre-qualification with USDA Rural Development. USDA Rural Development worked with Donald Parkos (the potential home buyer) throughout the application process. NAHFH utilized a community revitalization grant administered by the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District (NENEDD) to demolish the dilapidated property that previously existed on the site. The new construction was completed through donations of supplies and expertise, sweat equity, and primarily through the building trades program at Northeast Community College.
USDA Rural Development worked with Parkos and NENEDD to provide down payment assistance equal to 20 percent of the purchase price. In addition to this, Parkos received Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) First Time Homebuyer funds from the Nebraska Housing Developers Association (NHDA) and administered by Northeast Housing Initiative (NEHI). Through the hard work of all these partners, Parkos was able to afford a newly built home for less than $100,000.
Without the partnership created between USDA Rural Development, NAHFH, NENEDD, NHDA, and NEHI, Parkos would not have been able to purchase his 1,106 square foot, two bedroom, one bath home. The partnership had an impact far beyond that of just homeownership. The process helped revitalize a neighborhood by placing a nice, newly built home where a dilapidated structure once stood. It also helped create a sense of community and ownership in the neighborhood by all involved.