Home Ownership Pilot Program Benefits Republic County

BELOIT, KS, January 19, 2021 —

Financial incentives offered through the Republic County Home Ownership Pilot Program assisted in the purchase of 11 homes in the county last year.

The program, which provided home buyers with down payment and closing cost assistance, officially launched in April 2020. The total investment in the 11 homes was just over $1 million, with $132,000 provided through the pilot program.

Primary objectives of the program were to reduce the number of homes on the market, appeal to first-time home buyers, benefit employers in the recruitment and retention of employees, and attract alumni back to the region to work, start/buy a business, or retire.

The North Central Regional Planning Commission, based in Beloit, administered the program offered by its housing non-profit, NCK Housing Opportunities, Inc. The non-profit serves Cloud, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, and Saline counties. An award from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation of Logan, Kansas, assisted in the creation of the loan and grant pool.

Program data indicate positive short-term outcomes for the county. In a survey of home buyers, 50% were first-time home buyers and 36% also took a job in the last 24 months, with one-third of those reporting the program incentive was a factor in their job decision. In addition, 41% were under 30 years of age and another 41% were between the ages of 30 and 49.

“Since launching the first home ownership program in the region in 2018, there has been strong interest and we continued to see that in Republic County,” Home Ownership Program Manager Debra Peters said. “We were pleased that the program seemed to be a catalyst for young, first-time home buyers.”

A similar home ownership pilot program is underway in Dickinson County. Additional pilot programs have been completed in the City of Marysville and Cloud, Ellsworth, Lincoln, Mitchell and Ottawa counties. Since 2018, home ownership programs in the region have combined to assist in the purchase of 89 homes with an approximate value of $10.2 million.

As has been common with other pilot locations, a large percentage (59% in Republic County) of home buyers graduated from a high school in the North Central Regional Planning Commission’s 12-county service area. Another 35% graduated from an out-of-state school. Twenty-seven percent of home buyers moved from outside the 12-county service area.

Results of the pilot programs will be used to develop a permanent regional home ownership program sometime in the future. To learn more, visit www.ncrpc.org/services/homeownership.

The NCRPC is committed to advancing rural Kansas through comprehensive planning and development services. Its primary service area includes 12 counties and 83 cities in North Central Kansas. For more information about the NCRPC, visit www.ncrpc.org.

Republic County Results from NCRP

We are pleased to share the short-term outcomes of the Republic County Home Ownership Pilot Program including:

The program assisted in the purchase of 11 homes totaling nearly $1,039,000, with $132,000 coming from the pilot program. The average project cost for the program was $94,400 with the average sources being bank loan $70,700 (75%), borrower cash down $11,700 (12%), and $12,000 (12%) from our homeownership program including $10,000 loan/$2,000 grant. Some of the objectives of the pilot NCK Home Ownership program were to:

  • Be a catalyst for someone to buy their first home
  • Benefit employees by helping to make homeownership dreams a reality
  • Reducing employees time spent commuting to work and giving them more time to with family and to participate in their children’s activities
  • Benefit employers in recruiting/retaining quality employees by helping them becoming more invested in their community and staking roots through home ownership
  • Market it to alumni considering a move back to Republic County to live closer to friends and family
  • Measuring Ben Winchester’s research on average age most likely to move to a rural area being

Short-term Outcomes of the program include:

  • 50% are first time home buyers
  • 36% took a new job in the last 24 months, with 33% reporting this program incentive was a factor in their job decision. This statistic can be broken down even further to those taking a new job in the last 12 months and in the last 13-24 months including: 24% took a new job in the last 12 months, with 25% reporting this program incentive was a factor in their job decision. 12% took a new job in the last 24 months, with 50% reporting this program incentive was a factor in their job decision.
  • 27% moved from outside the NCRPC’s 12-county service area of Clay, Lincoln, Dickinson, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Marshall, Ellsworth, Ottawa, Republic, Saline, and Washington.
  • 94% reported being active in their respective community
  • 59% graduating from NCRPC’s 12-county service area, 6% from elsewhere in Kansas, and 35% out-of-state
  • 6 children new to the school system within the next 5 years (1 child new to school system and 5
  • at home that will be entering the school system within the next 5 years).
  • 82% of homebuyers were under 50 years of age, of which 41% were under 30. Age of homebuyers: 41% under 30 years old, 41% were 30-49 [29% were 30-39 and 12% were 40-49], 12% were 50-59, and 6% were above 60.
  • Ben Winchester results of 2 of the 7 or 29% of the new residents that moved to the community in the last 12 months were in the 30-49 years age range.
  • Question regarding reasons for move allowed for multiple answers from one person. The top 2 answers were family/friends (6) and job (8); followed by reduce commute (3) and alumni (1)

Watch the video to learn about what else NCRPC does in the twelve county region.