LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – With a vote set for Wednesday, the Center for Rural Affairs is urging Nebraska lawmakers to override Gov. Jim Pillen’s veto of funding for rural workforce housing.
The $20 million cut in funding for the Rural Workforce Housing Fund was among the line-item vetoes announced by the governor last week.
Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center, said the funding is vital to the continued development of rural communities.
“During the pandemic, we saw more people choosing to relocate to smaller communities,” Hladik said. “But, because rural communities lacked necessities such as available housing, many of those people settled in suburban communities.”
The Rural Workforce Housing Fund is available to non-profit development organizations that supply at least a 50% match for projects to develop new owner-occupied housing costing no more than $325,000, new rental housing units costing no more than $250,000, or rehabilitation of an existing building into housing. Since its establishment in 2018, the program has allowed more than 45 rural Nebraska communities to add hundreds of housing units for new and existing residents.
“The Rural Workforce Housing Fund has afforded communities across the state the ability to address housing issues and bring workers and families to their towns,” Hladik said. “We applaud lawmakers for including this funding in the state’s budget and urge them to ensure it remains in place by overriding the governor’s veto.”