Omaha Program Promotes Infill Development

Budding developers can access funding and low-cost vacant lots for affordable housing construction.

1 minute read

June 10, 2024, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

An aerial view of a park and the streets and high-rises of Downtown Omaha.

High Note Media / Adobe Stock

A symposium organized by the Omaha Municipal Land Bank and the nonprofit Spark brought together local developers interested in developing infill properties, reports Cindy Gonzales in the Nebraska Examiner. 

The symposium also connected emerging developers, bankers, architects, and others interested in housing development. According to Land Bank executive director Leslie Smith, encouraging infill development could have community benefits beyond just new housing, raising local property values. One such project, ‘Curtis Corner,’ built nine new homes on a formerly vacant lot in North Omaha. 

The city recently sold 50 properties for as low as $1 with one catch: the new owners have a deadline to develop housing on the lots. “And as long as the homes are restricted for the designated income-qualified  population, the buyer can access gap funding from nonprofit sources such as the local Spark Capital program to bridge the cost between construction and sale price.” The Land Bank is using a $1.25 million state grant to clean up and prepare 20 or more lots for building.

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