Gov. Ricketts Announces Homeowner Assistance Fund, Declines Second Round of Renters Aid

Feb. 1, 2022, 6:35 p.m. ·

Gov. Pete Ricketts at a press conference. Stands on a podium. Billboard graphics about renters assistance are displayed beside him.
Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund days after saying no to a second round of rental assistance. (Screenshot)

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Nebraska homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic can now apply for state assistance. Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday the new Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund, using nearly $50 million in funds provided by the federal government.

Federal funds were made available to the states to help people facing home budget problems during the pandemic. The Rickets administration announced it would allocate the $50 million to help state homeowners pay for past due mortgage payments, past due real estate taxes, homeowners or flood insurance and more. Utilities will not be included.

"We know that homeownership is a dream, a goal for many Americans," he said. "And while the pandemic has certainly impacted that, we know that those people would like to stay in their home, and so that's what this program is."

There’s a $30,000 aid limit per household. Nebraskans can apply for assistance online.

The announcement comes days after Ricketts decided not to take a second round of rental assistance funds allocated by Congress. He said they don’t have the data to justify why the state needs to apply for more money, especially when Nebraska has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate.

"We just don’t see that we’ve got the justification for this," he said. "You know, we're not trying to create a welfare state here. We want to ask for assistance when we need it. That's the Nebraska way."

The state still has $44 million left to allocate at the end of September. Ricketts believes that’s enough to help renters through the end of the year. Nebraska is one of two states not taking the renters assistance.