- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - Several Beatrice leaders are proposing a housing program to help address what some in the community see as a lack of available homes within the city.

The program would finance the construction of new residences in Beatrice that the city would own until they’re sold, the Beatrice Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1MSzh13 ) reported. The City Council is considering two options for the program that it heard on Monday.

The first option would be to work with Prairie Gold Homes. The city or another entity would provide a lot and building materials to Prairie Gold Homes, which would provide labor. Once the house is finished, the city would own it, sell it and retain any profits.

The second would be to work with Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, or NIFA. It would be a similar project, but the parties would look to build multiple homes at once and partner with local general contractors. The city could provide some costs during construction, and any additional financing.

The city is looking to build residences in the range of $120,000 and $180,000, and the pricing will vary depending on the size of the lots and homes, said City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer.

He said the city could test both options of developing with Prairie Gold or NIFA.

“I don’t think either of these options are mutually exclusive,” Tempelmeyer said. “If Prairie Gold comes in and builds one house we can see how it works. That way we can judge the success and see if we want to move forward.”

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, http://www.beatricedailysun.com

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