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PLATTSMOUTH – It’s been said that to own a home is to achieve the American Dream.

The Southeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Inc. has a program to make that dream a reality for qualified individuals and families.

It also has a program to help rehab homes for safer, more secure living conditions.

SENCA’s down payment assistance program offers financial assistance for the purchase of existing or newly constructed single-family homes for those who meet certain qualifications, such as low- income requirements, as well as being first-time home buyers or who haven’t owned a home in the last three years. Other requirements are also in effect.

“It gets people off to a good start and become homeowners,” said Rosanna Glathar, SENCA’s housing program manager.

The program offers a loan intended to close the gap between the first mortgage loan amount and the total purchase price of the home, according to Glathar. The maximum loan amount is 20 percent of the total purchase price or $15,000, whichever is less, she said. The assistance is available through a low interest, deferred loan. During the first two years, no interest accrues and no payment is required, she said. Beginning in the third year, interest accrues at 1 percent and payments, not to exceed $135 per month, begin.

SENCA’s rehab grant is intended to complete minor improvement work on existing homes for safer, more secure living conditions. The rehab work is identified through an inspection conducted by SENCA, Glathar said. The maximum grant amount is $15,000 and doesn’t need to be paid back, she said.

“It’s not for cosmetic purposes, but to make the house in good, safe condition,” Glathar said.

There are certain requirements to be eligible for this program and applications are required for both of these programs. To apply, people must contact SENCA to schedule a pre-application meeting.

All this money comes from the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund, she said.

These grant programs, which have been in place for several years, have been successful and there is currently a waiting list of applicants, Glathar said.

But, that should not discourage those interested, she added.

“If they are interested and think they may qualify, they should go ahead and apply,” she said.

For more information, call Glathar at 402-862-2411, ext. 120 or by email at rglathar@senca.org.

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