A Much Needed Shot in The Arm For Housing
Despite a growing local economy, employers in North Platte, Nebraska faced a big obstacle. There were numerous jobs not being filled despite their best hiring efforts. The problem? The housing crisis that began in 2008 coupled with the expanding local economy resulted in a serious lack of residential new construction, thus limiting the available workforce.
Although there had been substantial construction in the area, its focus had been on commercial development and residential remodeling. The housing “bust” resulted in the failure of some local homebuilders, while others exited the industry. Those who remained had limited access to capital.
During this time, it was noticed that area hotel operators reported high occupancy rates, but not from visitors. Employees who didn’t have housing filled their beds.
Recognizing the significant impact of the situation, the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Corporation (NPACDC) took action. A joint venture using funding from the city and the NPACDC resulted in a new program called Shot in the Arm for Housing.
"The program combined our funds and the city’s quality growth funds to grant up to $8,000 per new home," said Dan Mauk, NPACDC President.
Through the program, NPACDC funds were leveraged with local public funds, private funds, and matching grants to offer cash incentives to home builders to construct duplexes and single-family homes. Applicant builders were required to be Chamber members and all homes had to meet program guidelines. A resource guide was produced and given to builders, promoting member subcontractors, decorators, and landscapers. In addition, those members received notification when a builder was approved to participate.
"The hope was to give the industry the push it needed to get things rolling to address the housing shortage," added Mauk.
The estimated economic impact of this effort on the area is over $8 million. Most importantly, the NPACDC proved itself to be responsive to the needs of their membership, big and small.
Download the MemberZone eBook: Community Partnerships – 5 Real Examples of Economy Boosting Collaboration for more successful programs that may provide inspiration for your Association.