FREMONT, Neb. — A new study shows that housing needs in an eastern Nebraska county extend well beyond the people who will fill more than 800 new jobs at a planned Costco poultry operation.

A study from Hanna:Keelan Associates, a Lincoln-based community planning firm, said Dodge County may need as many as 1,500 new housing units in the next five years, the Omaha World-Herald reported . The Greater Fremont Development Council will present the report to the public in Fremont tonight.

“What we find is that those needs have existed for quite some time in Fremont,” said Garry Clark, executive director of the economic development group. “There hasn’t been that diversity of housing growth.”

A lack of available housing will slow economic growth, county leaders said.

The county’s population of 37,000 is expected to grow up to 39,000 during that time, with the development of the Costco facility in Fremont. While several housing developments are being built in the city, most are middle or higher priced, said Marlin Brabec, a local real estate broker.

Federal low-income housing tax credits and city tax-increment financing are helping finance the construction of Fountain Springs Estates. The housing development consists of 32 units for people ages 55 and older who qualify based on income.

Public financing tools may be needed to build low-incoming housing, the report said. Nebraska lawmakers stopped a proposed expansion of using tax-increment financing for rural housing construction last spring. Lawmakers did pass a measure to use $7.3 million from the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund to create a rural workforce housing grant program.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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