Hastings celebrates new workforce housing

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 6:27 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) -The North Park Commons in Hastings has seen some major development and Tuesday the City celebrated new housing being nearly done.

The apartments and townhomes were made possible through a state grant that creates more housing for the working class. A common issue across Nebraska is there isn’t enough housing for people to live where they work and with the state trying to fill thousands of jobs creating that housing is a top priority.

“We have to make sure we have the people here to do the jobs we have,”said Michael Krings, Executive Director of the Hastings Economic Development Corporation. “When asking them well why is it such a challenge to get a workforce they say the number one issue is housing.”

The Pioneer Trail Flats and Osborne View Estates were made possible through a Rural Workforce Housing Grant. Hastings got one of the largest grants of $850,000 that is matched by the city. After many housing studies, they knew apartments and single family homes were in big demand.

“That’s what we want communities to do is to figure out what is best for their community to keep and retain towns. To attract families to move in,” Governor Pete Ricketts said. “The fact that these apartments behind us are being snapped up like hot cakes shows that there is demand for this.”

It can be viewed as a risk to developers to start up in smaller towns. With the grant money it can help ease some of that risk to start a new complex.

“Rental units like this, apartment complexes like this are very difficult to do financially,” Krings said. “They’re a long 20-30 year investment by the ownership of whoever builds these things. So it becomes very difficult to get into that world of apartment complexes.”

The construction of the single family homes is anticipated to begin this fall at the same time the apartment construction should end. The city hopes to see the first phase of single family homes go up over the next year which would be around 30 buildings. Once the grant money is paid off it can roll into other future housing projects.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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