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Low Income Housing In Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha Low Income HousingOne low income housing program in Douglas County, Nebraska gives low-income residents in the Omaha area a chance they might not otherwise have to purchase a home of their own. The CROWN program, managed by the Douglas County Housing Authority (DCHA) in Omaha, allows low income residents to rent new 3- and 4-bedroom homes, applying a portion of the rent towards an escrow account which they can then use to purchase the home.  To qualify for this homeownership program, residents must have incomes between 40% and 60% of the area median income.  Online applications and photos are available at www.douglascountyhousing.com

DCHA also offers public housing that includes DCHA-owned single-family homes and apartments for the elderly and disabled, all of which include affordable rent and rental assistance.  Families must meet U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income guidelines based on family size with required rent amounts limited to 30-40% of monthly household income.

Privately-owned property is also available and works much the same way.  This program is called Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.  Residents have a choice of properties to choose from, complete an application and if approved receive rental assistance.  Both of these programs must follow HUD guidelines and are managed by DCHA. 

Omaha, like many other cities, want to help low income residents become independent.  The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is designed to do just that .  Residents currently enrolled in the Section 8 housing program can also enroll in FSS.  This is a five-year program that teaches them how to be homeowners and even establishes an escrow account into which all income increases are deposited.  At the end of five years, the resident receives the total amount accrued.  This program entails more than just housing education but also includes job training and employment goals. 

Section 8 residents have another opportunity to be homeowners through the Section 8 Homeownership Program.  Low-income residents receiving subsidized rental assistance for one year have the opportunity to apply their rent toward a mortgage payment.  It should be noted that all programs for homeownership are for first-time homebuyers only or those who have not owned a home for three or more years. 

Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization, offers a great opportunity for low income families to afford their own home.  The difference with this program is that qualifying residents must be willing to donate 350 hours of their own time in the actual building of their new home.   Income must be no lower than 25% and no higher than 50% of the area median income.  A family of four, for example, must have income of at least $17,650 but no more than $35,300.  Since the money to fund this program comes from donor contributions, volunteer labor (including the homebuyers) and donated materials, it allows these homes to be sold at very affordable prices.  More information on Habitat for Humanity in the Omaha area can be found at www.habitatomaha.org.


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