Keep Current on Nebraska Legislation That Impacts Home Builders and Owners
The Nebraska State Home Builders Association carefully monitors the Nebraska Unicameral. And provides members with updates and information regarding proposed legislation and regulations the will impact the residential construction industry.
State Senator Terrell McKinney, chair of Nebraska’s Urban Affairs Committee, hosted a hearing in North Omaha to address “affordable housing” in the next legislative session, first by learning how constituents define the term. The hearing on September 25th in Omaha, NE was on the “revolving definition” of affordable housing is meant to help shape legislation for the 2024 legislative session.
More than three dozen people testified for over three hours, rotating between developers and community members.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing as 30% of gross income. This grew from 20% of income in the 1940s for federally subsidized housing to 25% in 1969 and later the 30% threshold in 1981. For McKinney and his North Omaha community, which he said is the poorest in the state coupled with the highest rate of evictions and outdated amenities and accessibility issues, there is “no real affordable housing.” McKinney astutely cut to the heart of the issue when he observed, “Affordable is only affordable if you can afford it,”
Did you know? Nebraska has the smallest state legislature in the United States. Comprised of 49 Senators, in a single unicameral house. Officially, Senators are supposed to be non-partisan. The Legislative session last for 90 days in odd-numbered years and just 60 in even-numbered years.
The lawmaking process in Nebraska officially begins when a senator introduces a bill into the Legislature, which meets each January. However, the process actually begins much earlier, when a senator first begins to formulate ideas for new laws. An idea for a new law may be suggested by anyone: concerned citizens, special interest groups, state agencies or the governor. But before the Legislature can formally consider the idea, it must be introduced as a bill by a senator or legislative committee.