A proposed project in Gering consisting of 14 independent living apartments for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities should get underway this fall after a new grant was awarded to Twin Cities Development.
The state Department of Economic Development’s Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund awarded $500,000 to TCD this week toward the estimated $885,000 renovation of the former medical center space at Northfield Apartment complex.
TCD Executive Director Rawnda Pierce tells KNEB News the project has been about two years in the making, and will address the lack of such a facility in the region. “We did a survey with all the Panhandle schools that ESU 13 serves, and the teachers came back with, based on the kids they have now, and their trajectory of who can live alone, they think they’ll have a need for 50 spots in the next five years,” said Pierce.
The apartments would consist of a bedroom, bathroom and living room, with access to a community space for socializing during group activities, as well quiet spaces for smaller meetings.
TCD has allocated $200,000 toward the project, and donation commitments of $85,000 have been secured from Platte Valley Bank, First State Bank, the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, and Western Nebraska Housing Opportunities.
Pierce says a little bit more funding will need to be raised, but it won’t be needed upfront for initial design and building costs, with work to begin on the renovation in about a month or so, and completion approximately a year later.
She says it’s a way TCD can give back to the community and provide a service that’s currently available in eastern Nebraska or in Colorado, but not in the Panhandle.