On August 25, 2023, in the latest example of intelligently integrating neighborhood revitalization with increased affordable housing, the grand reopening of two historic affordable housing apartment complexes in the heart of the Park Avenue neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska. re-opening of
This successful project, which renovated the Hanscom and Georgia Row Apartments—was the work of inCOMMON, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening vulnerable neighborhoods.
According to a report on housing affordability in the area, the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro is facing a current deficit of over 78,000 affordable units.
The project, involving the Hanscom and Georgia Row Apartments, was intended to address issues of housing displacement, which can result in job loss, change of schools and isolation from loved ones.
inCOMMON hopes to develop local leaders in the neighborhood, and displacement actively curtails that mission.
The Park Avenue neighborhood, which is located between North and South Omaha, is home to approximately 7000 residents. When inCOMMON first began work in this neighborhood in 2009, more than 1-in-3 residents lived below the federal poverty line.
Today, the poverty level has plummeted to below 19%. Other signs of progress inCOMMON has witnessed over the last decade include an 11% decrease in violent crime and a 15% increase in graduation rates.
“There’s much to celebrate over the transformation of Park Avenue,” said Christian Gray, inCOMMON co-executive director.
“At the same time, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that while improvements in the neighborhood have benefitted some, many lower-income residents have been priced-out of the neighborhood they once called home. Families who have lived in the neighborhood through difficult times should be the first in line to reap the benefits of these improvements,” he added.
The Hanscom is made up of 64 studio and one-bedroom apartments, while the Georgia Row’s two- and three-bedroom apartments have been designed with families in mind.
The cost of rent is based on the size of the apartment, and there are income limits to ensure those in need qualify for these housing opportunities.
Both complexes are in the Park Avenue neighborhood and are a walkable distance from inCOMMON’s Park Avenue neighborhood resource center, which provides residents access to various programs that inCOMMON has to offer, including adult education, workforce development, youth programming, and numerous neighborhood-improvement efforts.
Photos courtesy of inCOMMON.