The Beginning of a Housing Development
It all began as a 6 block area of land located across the street to the north of the Logan Fontenelle Projects which consisted of mostly families on Section 8 ( subsidized housing).
The projects in that area was called "Little Vietnam" because of the drug dealings and gang violence.
The location of the development was provided by the City of Omaha. The (GOHDC) Greater Omaha Housing and Development Corporation was compensated with over $400,000 for site improvements, which decreased the cost to the buyers by $12,000 for each tract of land.
The City also designed $800,000 for no interest second mortgages. These mortgage
amounts were based on the size and income of the family. The prices ranged from $3,000 to $22,000 and there was no monthly payments. If the property was sold within 10 years of purchase, then the second mortgage was due.
A few models were constructed and sold. Most of the homes were custom built and sold to buyers that qualified. The homes were built in split level, ranch, 1½ story or Cape Cod style, from 2, 3, or 4 bedroom plans. The cost ranged from $47,000 to $62,000. Inspite of the area, as the quality of the development became evident, home buyers needing less assistance and with higher incomes admired the development. Three of the new homeowners purchased houses costing over $70,000 without help.
According to the size of a family and income, funds were available through NIFA (Nebraska Investment Finance Authority) at a rate of 8¼% to 8 3/8%. The interest rates were 6% for families that had a lower income and met other added guidelines. The overall debt-to-income ratio was relative to the need of the buyer as to whether there would be an increase or decrease in the amount of the second mortgage. This was the criteria set by the FHA and City. For the buyers who couldn't qualify for a FHA loan, FirsTier Bank made end financing to them by way of their special Target Area Program, at 1% below market rate.
The program gave many buyers a chance to become homeowners but without it, they would have been unsuccessful with a FHA application.
This gave first time home buyers a chance to become homeowners.