Omaha gets $25M federal grant to redevelop housing project
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A $25 million federal grant will be used to help rejuvenate a neighborhood in north Omaha in the redevelopment of a deteriorating public housing project, according to officials.
The Omaha Housing Authority announced Monday that the five year grant will help demolish the Spencer Homes project and replace the apartments with better housing.
The money comes from a Department of Housing and Urban Development program called the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Omaha is among three cities nationwide that will receive funding this year through the program, the Omaha World-Herald reported .
Jason Mohr, the federal agency’s regional administrator, said the grants aim to replace distressed housing with high quality, mixed income options. They also intend to connect families with employment, health and education opportunities, while creating conditions that encourage investment in the neighborhood, he said.
Omaha plans to leverage the grant with $157 million in private and local funding and donations, according to Mohr.
The city and the housing authority will partner with Omaha-based 75 North Revitalization Corp. and Illinois-based Brinshore Development to build more than 400 apartments, townhouses and homes, according to Omaha’s grant application.
Omaha City Council President Ben Gray said the grant will “make a significant difference in our community.”
“This is one of the depressed areas in our community that has been struggling for a very long time to come from under the grasp of poverty and other things,” said Gray, whose district includes the neighborhood.
He added that it’s “an opportunity for people in our community who have suffered for a very long time to see some light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train coming at them.”
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com