Community Economic Development
“The class was very educational and opened my eyes to the process. There is a lot more to buying a house than I realized.”
– SENCA Class Participant
SENCA holds classes on a regular basis. Classes are offered in three different formats. Interested participants may take a 1 session 8-hour class or complete 2 sessions of 4 hours each. Classes are also offered online. A full 8 hours must be completed in order to receive a Certificate of Completion. Participants learn how to develop a budget, determine a down payment, and how to work with a realtor. Credit issues, financing options, insurance and taxes, offers and closing, and home maintenance are also addressed. From start to finish, our instructors are prepared to walk homebuyers through the home buying process. Instructors are also available to work one-on-one and help develop an action plan that determines the necessary steps to becoming a homeowner.
Registrations for face-to-face classes must be received at least one week in advance. This registration consists of submitting a completed Homebuyer Education Application and a $35 registration fee. Online classes require a registration fee of $40 and registration can be completed at www.ehomeamerica.org/senca. Classes are available to everyone regardless of income and all participants are provided an opportunity to complete a screening for down payment assistance. To learn more about REACH and/or locate a workshop near you visit www.housingdevelopers.org.
For Homebuyer Education class schedule and application packet, please click here.
Ehome Brochures click here.
Ehome Brochure Espanol click here.
“I couldn’t have done this without SENCA’s help.”
– SENCA HOMES Loan & Grant Recipient.
SENCA HOMES provides financial assistance to eligible, first-time home buyers to purchase a home and make improvements which ensure the health and safety of the home purchased. This program is funded through the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund and/or HOME funds which are managed through the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. In order to be eligible first-time homebuyers must meet income guidelines and complete SENCA’s Homebuyer Education class. Read above to learn about this class. Pre-application eligibility also includes receiving pre-approval for a 1st mortgage and a determination of income eligibility for SENCA HOMES. Household income must not exceed 80% or 100% of area median income (depending on funding source). Current income guidelines can be found here. 2013 Income Guidelines, click here.
Down payment assistance of up to 20% of the total purchase price with a $15,000 maximum and a $1,500 minimum is made available through a low interest, deferred loan. Applicants are given 1 year for every $1,500 utilized in order to repay SENCA HOMES. During the first 2 years of the loan there is no interest accrual and no payments required. Beginning in year 3, interest accrues at a rate of 1% and payments never exceed $135 per month.
In addition to the down payment assistance loan, eligible homebuyers may be provided with a grant of up to $15,000 in order to complete needed repairs/rehab to the home purchased. Upon homebuyers selecting a home, SENCA will complete an inspection to identify any health and safety hazards that need to be addressed. Dependent upon the required repairs needed being less than $15,000 in cost and the homebuyer's decision to proceed, SENCA will work with the applicant to obtain the services a qualified contractor to make the repairs. All repairs will be made after a loan closing is complete. Any home built prior to 1978 must pass a clearance for lead based paint hazards prior to a family living in the home.
Homebuyers interested in applying for assistance through SENCA HOMES II are strongly encouraged to contact SENCA as early in the home buying process as possible and PRIOR to signing a purchase agreement to purchase a home.
SENCA Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation
SENCA’s Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation project will assist qualified homeowners thanks to funding through the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Funds or HOME funds administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (NE DED). The project is available to assist owner-occupied homes within Cass, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, & Richardson, & Sarpy counties. SENCA anticipates making this service available in each of the aforementioned counties once every four years.
Units eligible for assistance must be occupied by owners whose income is at or below 80% of the area’s median income by family size. 2013 Income Guidelines are available, click here. Eligible properties must be single-family, owner-occupied dwelling units that do not meet the NE DED Minimum Rehabilitation Standards, as determined by project staff. Rental properties are not eligible. Units assisted must be the principal residence of the owner. The project’s objective is to restore eligible units receiving financial assistance to a physical condition which will result in a life expectancy of at least 20 years.
Eligible properties will receive rehabilitation services that address code deficiencies, minimum rehab standards, incipient deficiencies, energy conservation, fire protection, and general improvements. General improvements will only be addressed after all other identified needs have been addressed. The maximum financial assistance for these rehab services is $24,000. Financial assistance will be provided through conditional grants, deferred loans, and direct loans with 0% interest. The form of financial assistance provided will be determined based upon household income. Households with income at or below the 50% limits will receive conditional grants. Households at or below the 60% limits will receive deferred loans, and those with incomes at or below the 80% limit will receive a direct loan at 0% interest.
The Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act provides you with the right to buy, rent, insure, or living in housing under the same terms and conditions as everyone else without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, family status, or disability. Housing discrimination is against the law. All persons have a right to safe, decent housing, and to have access to this housing without discrimination. The following links provide you access to websites that explain the law and who to contact in the event that you feel you have been discriminated against in the sale or rental of property:
Department of Housing & Urban Development
Department of Housing & Urban Development Topics/Housing Discrimination
Department of Housing & Urban Development - Nebraska
Fair Housing Advisory Services, Inc
Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission
If you feel you have been discriminated against and/or need assistance in accessing help regarding a housing discrimination situation you may contact Angela Antholz, SENCA Housing Development Director at 402-862-2411 ext. 113 or toll free at 888-313-5608 for assistance.
To learn more about any of these services please contact:
802 Fourth Street
P.O. Box 646
Humboldt, NE 68376
(402) 862-2411 ext. 121