PCDC Grants Make Dreams Come True for New Resident
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Rodrigo Retana-Aguilera began work as the local Shelter insurance agent last winter. He leases office space at 502 4th Ave. from KB Rentals, the recipient of a recent $10,000 GO! DREAM grant to spruce up the exterior of the business. Jo-Ben Construction started work on the renovation in mid-May.
In addition to a grant that is helping draw attention to his business, PCDC also made another dream come true for Rodrigo and his wife, Cecilia. They moved into their new home in Loomis on their anniversary on May 11.
“The day we started moving in landed perfectly on that very special day for us, which was a sign from God that it was a right and great move for us,” Rodrigo said.
Rodrigo and Cecilia purchased their home with the help of a PCDC GO! HOME down-payment assistance grant. PCDC offers new county residents grants of up to $2,500 to purchase homes. Originally, the grants had to be matched by employers, but PCDC has recently expanded the program to include school teachers, public employees and those who are self-employed who don’t have an opportunity for an employer match.
PCDC also helped make their new home possible as it was constructed in 2018 by Legacy Purpose Homes with the help of grants through PCDC’s GO! HOME program.
Rodrigo, who is originally from Wichita, Kan., said he is looking forward to small-town living.
“Everything in Wichita was 15-20 minutes away,” Rodrigo said. “Here, you come across neighbors and friends any time of the day. It’s nice.”
Cecilia is originally from Lexington and will be teaching in Lexington this fall after recently earning her master’s degree.
“We don’t have kids yet, but we look forward to having kids in the future,” Rodrigo said. “We thought a small community near both of our jobs would be ideal for us.”
Rodrigo and Cecilia most recently lived in Kearney, and Rodrigo said he enjoys being closer to his office and the community where he works so he can help out as much as possible. He has already joined the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and looks forward to becoming more involved.
“It’s been a really, really good change for me,” Rodrigo said of his new job and move to Phelps County. “Everyone’s been nothing but nice and kind and supportive around here.”
GO! HOME Program Update
In addition to Rodrigo and Cecilia, 88 other new residents have moved to Phelps County since August 2017 thanks to PCDC’s GO! HOME programs.
BD matched 10 down-payment assistant grants with PCDC in 2018 and recently decided to provide 10 more matching grants in 2019.
Human Resources Manager Brian Deakin said the grants were popular among BD employees, and they awarded all 10 grants within six months in 2018.
“Anytime we can get our associates here closer to our operations, the better,” Brian said. “It’s more than just having a better commute when it’s snowy. It’s also that having them in the area and the community just really helps to build a strong, healthy economy here.”
In addition to down-payment assistance grants, PCDC started offering $1,000 Renter Relocation grants in 2018 in further efforts to encourage new residents (specifically targeting commuters) to move to the county.
Here are the statistics for the down-payment and renter relocation grants since they began until May 10, 2019:
Renter’s Relocation Grants:
- 2018 – 9 residents (6 grants)
- 2019 – 13 residents (5 grants)
Down Payment Assistance Grants:
- 2017 – 19 residents (5 grants)
- 2018 – 34 residents (13 grants)
- 2019 – 15 residents (6 grants)
For more information about PCDC’s GO! HOME programs, please contact Carley Bruning at PCDC at (308) 995-4148 or Carley@PhelpsCountyNE.com or visit the website at https://www.phelpscountyne.com/relocate/go!-home-2.0-programs.