Community Economic Development

Hannah Milam DPA reduced 

Purchasing a home is often a dream come true, especially for first-time homebuyers like Hannah.

Hannah grew up in the rural southeast Nebraska community where she had established a career with a local business as a customer service representative/insurance agent. With her financial future in mind, Hannah made the decision to purchase a home of her own.   

Hannah selected a realtor to work with and focused on finding a home that was not just affordable but one that would meet her needs. At the age of 25, Hannah’s financial resources were limited. Many of the homes for sale in her price range were older and typically in need of repair. Thankfully Hannah’s realtor told her about a program that could help her purchase a home within her budget and provide funding for needed repairs.

SENCA offers a Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program that also includes funding for rehabilitation to help ensure safer, more secure living conditions. To qualify program applicants must meet certain requirements, some of which include: being credit worthy; qualifying as a first-time home buyer, which means not owning a home in the past three years; and income eligible, thereby not exceeding 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, a typical household of four could earn up to $50,200 annually and qualify for the program.

When Hannah found the single family, two bedroom house built in 1920 she knew it was in need of repair. Hannah was confident that with assistance provided through the SENCA DPA program that also provided rehab, she would soon have a safe and secure home to call her very own. In March 2018, within a year of starting her search, Hannah’s dream became reality and she signed the papers making the home hers. Hannah worked with Rosanna Glathar, SENCA Housing Program Manager, through the majority of the purchasing and rehab process. Hannah commented the process “went smoothly” especially when a local contractor was found that would get the work done.
During the next two months repairs were made to the home that included: plumbing, window replacement, electrical, new basement stairs, and some much needed stucco work. By May 2018 Hannah officially moved into her new home.

When asked if she would recommend the program to others, Hannah replied “Very much so! The down payment assistance was very helpful and the rehab funds helped with repairs that might not have been completed without the additional funding provided through the program.”

Since 2005, SENCA HOMES has assisted 73 first-time homebuyers throughout the counties of Cass, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, and Sarpy with the purchase of a home. Of those, 92% utilized rehab services ultimately improving the health, safety, and affordability of their home.