|(MARCH 14, 2012) APARTMENT REVITALIZATION KEY TO QUALITY AFFORDABLE HOUSING|
|Ogallala, Nebraska, Mar 14, 2012
@@Having affordable and safe housing in rural areas for those who choose to rent or cannot support a house payment are vital to a rural community’s growth. Housing is needed for the workforce, for families to raise their children, or for retirement. All feed the local economy.
“The 40 units at Ogallala Apartments were constructed in 1978 and due to its age, the complex needed revitalization in order for it to remain as a source of safe, sanitary and affordable housing and to maintain its marketability,” said Area Specialist Cynthia Ross, USDA Rural Development.
USDA Rural Development provided assistance through its Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization Restructuring Program. The Housing Authority also received deferrals of payments for their original loan’s outstanding balance. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development provided grant funds. This leveraged funding package will bring the apartments to a standard that will offer affordable housing needed for the long term in the community.
Upgrades were made to the kitchen and restroom in the community room. Eleven of the 40 units have already been totally rehabilitated. Installed were new Americans with Disabilities Act entry doors, exterior lighting, new water heaters, a playground, landscaping, all new exterior and storm doors, poured porches in front of the units, new exhaust fans, and new soffits and fascia. The laundry room received energy-efficient washers and dryers. The project sign for the complex was also replaced.
“I am very happy that through the Revitalization Program our project has taken on an atmosphere of renewal, and it has been an exciting morale booster for the existing tenants,” said Manager Laura Nielsen, Ogallala Apartments. “Our upgrades have proven to be an exceptional marketing tool for our housing community.”
Ross pointed out that the most important factor is that the tenants are not displaced during the upgrade process. Economically, this upgrade process has created new jobs for 14 contractors and subcontractors.