Gering Senator John Stinner is “cautiously optimistic’ that a workforce housing bill he has championed for the past two years will gain final approval Wednesday, the last day of this session.
The bill would allow communities in Nebraska to use tax increment financing and other incentives to help pay for badly needed work force housing in rural communities and other sectors in the state.
Stinner says the bill will encourage the building and renovation of multiple homes by contractors in rural communities and targeted urban areas, reducing construction costs that have skyrocketed to $200 per square foot in the panhandle.
Stinner said, ” Hopefully by building five, six or more homes, we can drive that cost down closer to $150 per square foot and then use tax increment financing to fill other gaps between the cost of homes and worker wages. ”
Stinner says the bill can not only help build the six to seven hundred workforce homes needed to drive job creation in the panhandle over the next three to four years, but also be used for the same purpose across the entire state.
Stinner says the tax increment financing will help build a property base that after the TIF funds are paid for will serve as property tax relief. Stinner says the extra income received by construction workers will also be spent and serve as economic development.