Nebraska’s Affordable Housing Leaders Recognized 

Nebraska’s Affordable Housing Leaders Recognized 

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Residential Developer/Property Manager Home / About Community Development

Nebraska’s Affordable Housing Leaders Recognized 

Lincoln, Neb. April 7, 2022 - Nebraska’s outstanding affordable housing leaders were recognized at the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s (NIFA) recent Housing Innovation Marketplace Conference (March 28-30). Awards included the Housing Champion, Housing Hall of Fame, Making a Difference, Project of the Year, and Nebraska Leadership. NIFA also presented an award in memory of Danielle Hill, who was also a former Housing Champion award winner.

NIFA’s annual conference brings together community leaders, housing partners, and supportive service providers from across Nebraska and the country to discuss affordable housing and community development. The following housing leaders and organizations were recognized. 

Housing Champion - Steve Peregrine, Nebraska Housing Resource

The Housing Champion award recognizes individuals for their lifetime of work and dedication to the affordable housing industry. This year, NIFA recognized Steve Peregrine. Steve has spent 40 years working in Nebraska’s housing and community development industry.

Since starting as a housing rehabilitation specialist with a community action agency in 1981, Peregrine has spent 40 years in housing and community development in Nebraska. Peregrine worked at the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority from 2008-2014 and 1995-1996, was director for Fannie Mae Nebraska from 1997-2007, and was with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development from 1983-1994. At DED he coordinated housing planning and policies and assisted in the administration of federal housing programs. Peregrine helped restructured the state’s Community Development Block Grant program to begin supporting construction of new single-family housing for first time homebuyers through down payment assistance programs to nonprofits and wrote the application guidelines. He was also responsible for developing and supporting the first governor-appointed Nebraska Affordable Housing Commission and the output from several of the committees whose work included creating the Equity Fund of Nebraska and the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust fund. Peregrine also helped prepare Nebraska’s first federally required Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (now the Consolidated Action Plan).

Steve most recently has served as the Executive Director of Nebraska Housing Resource.  During his tenure at NHR, they have developed 189 lots and land previously owned by public entities.  The taxable property value for homes built on NHR lots exceeded $37 million. The latest development is Hub Hall Heights with 81 lots.

Housing Hall of Fame - Rita Horse, High Plains Community Development Corporation

NIFA's Housing Hall of Fame recognizes people and organizations that repeatedly rise to the challenge of providing affordable housing to the residents of Nebraska. This year, NIFA selected Rita Horse of High Plains Community Development Corporation (CDC) in Chadron.

Rita joined High Plains in 2001 as a finance officer and housing counselor and quickly developed their homebuyer education course and one-on-one follow-up counseling. Rita was soon promoted to Housing Counseling Coordinator, overseeing all homebuyer education, pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling, foreclosure, and reverse mortgage counseling. After attending a NeighborWorks conference, Rita became interested in the eHomeAmerica online homebuyer education course and immediately became a provider.

Today, Rita is the Executive Director of High Plains. She continues to lead the organization in providing closing cost assistance to first-time homebuyers, assisting over families in Northwest Nebraska, in addition to rehabbing and constructing new affordable homes in Chadron.

Housing Hall of Fame - Milo Mumgaard, Legal Aid of Nebraska

This year, NIFA also selected Milo Mumgaard of Lincoln for the Housing Hall of Fame. Milo is the Executive Director of Legal Aid of Nebraska. Before that, Milo served as legal counsel and senior policy aide to Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler. Milo began his legal career as a migrant farmworker staff attorney at Texas Rural Legal Aid, which fueled his commitment to public interest work.

Since then, he has worked to assist individuals and families in Nebraska and around the country through legal advocacy, public policy, and legislative work. Notably, Milo founded the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law and served as its executive director. Throughout his career, Milo has focused on advocacy and policy issues in affordable housing. He excels in creating stable housing opportunities through his tireless efforts for low-income households.

Making a Difference Award - Legal Aid of Nebraska

NIFA’s Making a Difference Award is given to organizations that go above and beyond to provide affordable housing options to Nebraskans. This year, NIFA selected Legal Aid of Nebraska to receive the award. 

For more than 50 years, Legal Aid of Nebraska has provided hope, self-sufficiency, and justice through quality civil legal services across the state. During the past two years, Legal Aid realized that a statewide response was essential to keep people in their homes. Staff became experts in new financial assistance programs to prevent eviction. They expanded their services outside of the courtroom and worked with direct service providers. Legal Aid helped tenants apply for assistance, collaborated with the continuums of care and central navigation, and became the voice of eviction prevention across Nebraska.

NIFA has always had a strong relationship with Legal Aid of Nebraska, and this partnership has continued to grow in recent years. Staff at both agencies work together each week to prevent evictions with Emergency Rental Assistance funds and now are collaborating to prevent home foreclosures with the Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund. 

Innovative Housing Project of the Year

The Innovative Housing Project of the Year recognizes a project that was recently completed with NIFA resources. This year, FRC Housing received the award.

In 2002, the Family Resource Center purchased the former Columbus Hospital.  Through the CRANE (Collaborative Resources Allocation for Nebraska) process, FRC Housing received NIFA Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Nebraska Affordable Housing Tax Credit and NDED National Housing Trust Funds.  FRC Housing, with many partners was able to convert the 2nd and 3rd floors of the former hospital into 34 affordable apartments for seniors.  The main floor of the building includes many services for the residents and the members of the Columbus community.  The Columbus Senior Center, Central Community College Adult Education Program, Platte Valley Literacy Association, Platte County Food Pantry, ARC of Platte County, Keep Columbus Beautiful and other businesses are located on the main floor.

Partners who made FRC Housing a reality include: Columbus Community Foundation, Family Resource Center, Mesner Development, the City of Columbus, ASK Studio, Dicon Corporation, Midwest Housing Equity Group and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

Nebraska Leadership Award – Tim Kenny

The Nebraska Leadership Award is a special recognition given for outstanding efforts, consistent contributions, and strong leadership in affordable housing. This year, NIFA recognized and thanked Tim Kenny, former NIFA Executive Director.

During Tim’s 27-year tenure (1994-2020), NIFA was able to provide $5.8 billion in 66 Single Family Bond Series, 61,000 loans to Nebraska homebuyers, $122.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) allocated in Nebraska, 14,456 LIHTC units placed in service across Nebraska, and 511 Ag loans totaling $77.7 million to Nebraska Farmers. He also served on numerous national and state boards. Before NIFA, Tim served as the director of program development for the Utah Housing Finance Agency and the executive director of the Texas Housing Finance Agency.

About NIFA

The Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s (NIFA) mission is to grow Nebraska communities through affordable housing and agribusiness. NIFA leverages its resources, data, knowledge, and technology with effective statewide partnerships and collaboration to promote vibrant Nebraska communities through affordable housing solutions and agribusiness.