LifeHouse (formerly Care Corps and Low Income Ministries) has received a grant for more than $2.8 million that it will use to create 15 low income rental units in Fremont by 2021.
The local agency received notification of approval for $2,874,115 in Housing Trust Fund dollars from the Department of Economic Development's (DED) Nebraska Affordable Housing Grant program after applying for up-to $4 million in grant money back in Oct. 2018.
The $2.8 million will be used by LifeHouse for the rehabilitation and/or new construction of 15 family rental units in the Fremont community.
“These Housing Trust Funds will provide, safe, efficient, and affordable housing for 15 families in Fremont," Tera Kucera, LifeHouse's Chief Executive Officer told the Tribune. “This opportunity will provide a path to stability, allowing families to work with a housing stability case manager to overcome barriers and, ultimately, begin their journey of self- sufficiency."
Kucera said that the housing units will be known as the LifeHouse Apartments when it is completed, and the project is part of the organization's Journey Program.
"One of our ultimate goals with the Journey Porgram is for families to obtain rental history, job skills, and to overcome barriers," she said. "The foundations these skills offer give participants the employment and rental history, as well as the confidence to move themselves into the workforce in the community out of poverty and onto a path of stability."
LifeHouse has yet to determine specific properties or lots for the project, but it is currently working with multiple agencies in locating potential properties to renovate or rebuild to serve the community.
According to information released by LifeHouse, the project will consist of rehabilitating small multi-family units. In the event the existing structures are not suitable for rehabilitation, the site will be cleared, and new multi-family units will be constructed on the lots.
LifeHouse's rental units will serve low-income househols up to 30 percent area median income in Fremont. Potential renters will go through an application process with LifeHouse when the renovations or build-out is complete.
Kucera added that LifeHouse has 24 months to complete the rehabilitation/construction portion of the project.
Lifehouse serves over 4,000 individuals each year through an emergency shelter, food pantry, three supportive housing programs, prevention and housing stability programs.
In 2018, 96% of those served through the LIfeHouse emergency shelter exited to a permanent housing destination. In addition, LifeHouse successfully prevented 537 individuals from entering homelessness.
“We are excited and so thankful to have this additional opportunity to serve and meet the needs of those most vulnerable in our community” Kucera said."Our goal for the LifeHouse Apartments is much larger than just a place to live, the program takes a holistic approach to breaking the cycle of poverty."