Community Economic Development
SENCA is committed to developing safe, decent, appropriate, and affordable housing for low-to-moderate income persons. SENCA works to identify the current housing needs for families within Cass, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, and Sarpy counties in Nebraska. SENCA encourages persons that have knowledge of an existing need to contact the agency to explore ways the need may be addressed. SENCA’s Housing Development Department is dedicated to the agency’s mission of “investing in people to build strong communities.” For more information on Nebraska's housing programs, click here.
SENCA has been involved in housing related activities for many years. In 1995, SENCA's Board of Directors adopted an official resolution recognizing the shortage of safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing throughout the agency's service area. This resolution further stated that SENCA is committed to increasing the availability of affordable housing through developing, owning, sponsoring, and managing affordable housing projects and activities. In 2004, the Board of Directors re-affirmed this commitment and adopted a process by which the beneficiaries of such affordable housing projects would be provided with opportunities to participate in the development of these projects and activities. Since the original commitment to affordable housing projects, SENCA has assumed ownership and management of three rental housing complexes within southeast Nebraska. These three rental housing complexes provide 15 units of multi-family, rental housing and 12 units of elderly-disabled housing. Rent within each of these units is based upon a household's income and rental assistance is available. In addition to the aforementioned rental complexes, SENCA is part owner of a 24 unit, multi-family rental complex in Nebraska City. Timber Ridge apartments provide both housing for low-income families and market-rate units. In order to learn more about Timber Ridge or how to apply visit Perry Reid Properties.
In the fall of 2002 SENCA became approved as a REACH Affiliate Educator. REACH (Readiness, Education, Awareness Collaborative for Homebuyers & Homeowners) has the mission to remove the barriers of home ownership through a statewide education delivery system, enhancing the success of homebuyers in achieving and maintaining home ownership. SENCA is an educator for Cass, Douglas, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, and Sarpy counties.
In 2005, SENCA implemented a project known as SENCA HOMES (home ownership makes economic sense) which provided eligible first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance through deferred, below market-rate loans. Buyers were also provided with housing rehabilitation grants in order to address health and safety issues, code violations, and energy efficiency issues associated with the homes purchases. This project, aimed at assisting new homeowners, has the most direct impact on economic development. The project was a huge success and an excellent opportunity for the local economy that produced $5 for every $1 invested. SENCA continues to operate this program today.
In 2008, SENCA implemented a project known as SENCA OOR (Owner Occupied Rehab). The SENCA OOR program is aimed at assisting low-to-moderate income homeowners with the rehab and preservation of the area's older housing stock. The program addresses code deficiencies, minimum rehab standards, energy conservation, fire protection, incipient deficiencies and general improvements. Addressing these housing issues will improve the health, safety, and affordability of area homes. The first project was very successful and an excellent opportunity for the local economy that produced $2 for every $1 invested. SENCA continues to operate this program today.
The department is responsible for conducting and developing new affordable housing projects and activities that address the needs of low-to-moderate income families. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Housing Development Department conducts affordable housing activities including the identification of needs, gaining public support, and gathering input from housing beneficiaries. SENCA operates housing projects and activities aimed at assisting renters, first-time homebuyers, and current homeowners. Visit this website’s Weatherization and Affordable Housing pages to learn more. Scroll down to learn more about SENCA Homebuyer Education, SENCA HOMES, and SENCA Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation projects currently available.
Home Buyer Education – SENCA is an approved REACH Affiliate Educator. REACH’s (Readiness, Education, Awareness Collaborative for Homebuyers & Homeowners) mission is to remove the barriers to home ownership through a statewide education delivery system, enhancing the success of home buyers in achieving and maintaining home ownership. From start to finish home buyers are walked through the entire home buying process. Pre-registration is required and a registration fee will be charged. Classes are offered on a scheduled basis. All classes are held at the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn.
SENCA HOMES – Home Ownership Makes Economic Sense, thus SENCA offers financial assistance to eligible first-time home buyers for down-payment/closing cost and minor rehabilitation for the home they are purchasing. Persons interested in applying for assistance through SENCA HOMES are encouraged to complete a pre-application early in the home buying process. Eligibility for assistance is based on income, first-time homebuyer status, completion of SENCA’s homebuyer education program, and permanent financing approval.
Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation – This program assists low to moderate income homeowners with funding used to bring existing housing units up to minimum housing standards. This was a new project for SENCA in 2009 and began in the counties of Richardson and Pawnee. In 2010, the counties of Johnson and Nemaha became eligible for the program. In 2011 the program will be available in the counties of Otoe, Cass, and Sarpy.
SENCA Weatherization is a housing program aimed at reducing energy consumption/costs and improving the health and safety of homes. Priority is given to persons 60 years of age or older, disabled persons, and households with children five and under. Services available include, but are not limited to, minor furnace repair, caulking, weather-stripping, door and window repair/replacement, minor foundation repair, and insulation.
Multi-family rental housing and elderly/disabled rental housing units are located in Johnson, Otoe, and Richardson Counties. Qualified household’s rent is based on income. These well-maintained facilities provide residents with affordable, decent, and safe housing.
The Transit system is a low cost service that is available to all residents in Richardson and Pawnee Counties. The transit services are available Monday through Friday. Rides are by appointment only and appointments must be scheduled in advance. The Transit is a collaboration between each of the participating counties and SENCA. If additional information is needed, please call Brenda Guilliams, Transit Supervisor at 245-3664 or Transportation Coordinator, Pam Armknecht at 862-2411 x 105.