Call Phelps County Home
Phelps County, Nebraska, is a vibrant and livable place where neighbors know your name and kids ride their bikes to the park. When other rural communities struggled, Phelps County earned a “Top Rural County 2020” ranking by Site Selection Magazine to honor our significant economic development success.
Phelps County Economic Development Corporation (PCDC) sees each achievement as a building block for the next success. We’ve set our sights on building homes to make room for more people who want to share in our richness of life.
More than 2,200 employees commute to Holdrege for work each day, and PCDC is helping to build a community that families will choose as their next home. Ending the commute means more time to enjoy family and an extraordinary quality of life. Adding one more building block in 2022, Holdrege was selected as a Community of the Year by the Nebraska Diplomats.
PCDC prioritizes remote and location-fluid workers: “If you can work from anywhere, live here!” Want examples why? Read why the Krause and the McNierney families chose Phelps County.
Progressive Assistance Programs.
Progressive efforts to create both owner and affordable rental housing for today’s families are underway. Additionally, housing for young professionals is being addressed; from cool downtown lofts to new, affordable single-family homes. PCDC offers assistance to purchasers, builders, and developers through its signature GO! Programs.
The GO! HOME Program’s Down Payment Assistance plan attracts new residents and encourages the construction of local workforce housing in all Phelps County communities. Since the program began in 2017, it has attracted more than 300 new residents to Phelps County. In 2022, PCDC awarded 20 down-payment assistance grants resulting in 48 new residents.
The GO! BUILD Program encourages local development by partnering with contractors and developers to make it happen. PCDC provides project advocacy and assistance with permitting, site acquisition, and preparation.
Housing Stock is Increasing
Heritage Homes in the CREW Subdivision
The CREW Subdivision in East Holdrege, once an empty field, will have more than 40 new living units soon. The project was made possible through grants from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s rural workforce housing program and the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority. PCDC contributed $250,000 in LB840 sales tax funds toward the subdivision as a local match to win the grant.
“Working with Ron Tillery and PCDC board has been an enjoyable process. We are excited to break ground and start the on-site portion of the building process in the CREW Subdivision. As that process progresses, we are investigating the possibility of doing further builds beyond our original six homes in the CREW Subdivision in cooperation with PCDC.” - Broch Muhs, Heritage Homes General Manager.
The Dale Residences opened its doors to lease 25 apartments and offer four studio Airbnb units in Downtown Holdrege. The renovated apartments provide perfect homes for professionals looking for a unique small-town living experience close to downtown dining, drinks, movies, and shopping. The bright white, minimalist-style apartments are fully furnished, providing a living experience that is clean, fresh, and refined. The project was a recipient of a PCDC’s GO! DREAM grant.
“The PCDC is proactive . . . before the pandemic . . . through the pandemic. It’s rare in our experience that any entity charged with attracting and promoting businesses to a city has the chops that the PCDC demonstrates.” - Dale Residence owner Nancy Clark, part of the Colorado-based company Christopher Hayden LLC
One longtime resident is working to create housing solutions in Phelps County with the help of PCDC’s GO! HOME program. Since 2015, ten homes — some of which were abandoned — have been purchased and modernized. Six renovations are complete.
In 2022, to entice commuters to convert to full-time residents, PCDC expanded its GO! HOME program to add incentives to purchase mobile homes. Mobile homes are more affordable to people who are just starting their careers and working on building savings and equity.
Housing Stock Increases on the Horizon
Bertrand Housing Authority & Community Builders
In 2021, PCDC provided a forgivable loan to provide five or more affordable housing units in Bertrand over the next few years. The Bertrand Housing Authority proposes a two-phase project in which a triplex will be developed in the first phase and a duplex will be developed in the second phase.
Beginning in 2023, PCDC will collaborate with Bertrand Community Builders to conduct in-fill development that will include renovations and new construction projects.
A property, located in north central Holdrege, is proposed to be a new neighborhood with up to 30 new homes. Situated near a new elementary school, YMCA, competition ballfields, parks, and shopping, this new development will be available to families beginning in late 2023.
Contact PCDC today to see what assistance we can offer you! Our options are flexible and robust, and our staff is ready to provide expert advice.
“Brick by Brick, Building the Community We Love.”
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.
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.”