Former BD Plant Manager Now Creating Housing Opportunities
21 Dec 2022
When Chuck Mix first moved to Holdrege to lead operations at BD, he struggled to find a house in the tight market.
Mix has since retired from manufacturing, and the local housing market is even tighter. In his retirement career, Mix is now working to create housing solutions in Phelps County with the help of PCDC’s GO! HOME program.
Since 2015, Mix has purchased and renovated 10 homes in Holdrege (the last four are still in the works).
“For me, it’s a process of restoration and renewal,” Mix said. “It’s taking something that I think has some intrinsic value but is dilapidated and saving it to create a home for someone.”
Many of the homes he has renovated had been abandoned for years.
“It’s a negative impact on the entire community to have abandoned homes,” Mix said. “They look bad and lower the property values in the community. It’s nice to get those back on the market.”
One of his current projects is the old “museum” home that was moved from the Nebraska Prairie Museum to 1315 Valley Street. Others include 141 Water, 136 Water and 718 Miller.
Mix said he appreciates the vision and leadership of PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery in offering GO! HOME grants to help with these types of projects.
“These GO! funds have really made a difference in being able to do this work,” Mix said. “It’s the difference between making a profit or not.”
While Mix still has family in Holdrege, he and his wife now live in Colorado. He is mentoring and training two young adults to continue housing renovation work on Phelps County homes in the future.
PCDC will once again offer GO! HOME grants for 2023. The following GO! HOME grants are offered for home renovation work:
- Renovation Reimbursement Grant, Existing Rental Property: Up to $1,500 matching grants will be offered per renovated living unit to address deficiencies presented by outdated spaces, including electrical and plumbing infrastructure, HVAC, energy-efficient windows and doors and other safety improvements. These grants may not be combined with other PCDC programs.
- Site Improvement/Demolition Reimbursement Grant: PCDC will match up to $2,500 to help developers or contractors renovate or create new living units on lots that need substantial improvement before construction. Funds may be used for landfill fees, demolition costs, asbestos remediation, dirt work, utility improvements, etc.
- Home Residential Code Compliance Grant: Developers may receive up to $2,500 per new living unit created in downtown buildings or existing commercial and residential buildings to bring additional vitality to the housing market. This may include modernizing sprinkler systems, electric and plumbing upgrades, elevators, faulty roofs or other safety improvements.
PCDC will also continue its GO! HOME down payment assistance grants in 2023 except for the renter relocation grants, which will not be offered. PCDC matches employer funds of up to $2,500 to help employees living outside of the county purchase a home in Phelps County.
In 2022, PCDC awarded 20 down-payment assistance grants resulting in 48 new residents. Residents moved from nearby towns such as Lexington, Orleans and Hildreth and farther-away towns such as Lincoln, Omaha, and Plymouth, Minn.
embecta was the matching grant employer on seven of the 17 grants. BD and Phelps Memorial Health Center also sponsored several employee matching grants.
Since the program began in 2017, it has attracted 231 new residents to the county.
In addition to the down payment assistance grants for homes, PCDC will also continue into 2023 the down payment assistance grants of up to $1,000 to purchase mobile homes in county mobile home parks.
“This is all part of our efforts to turn commuters into full-time Phelps County residents,” Tillery said. “We want to give those commuters every opportunity to find a home in Phelps County.”