Nebraska Revised Statute 71-1573

Chapter 71 Section 1573

71-1573.

Legislative findings.

The Legislature declares that:

(1) There exists within this state a shortage of residential housing that is decent, safe, and sanitary, situated in safe, livable neighborhoods, and affordable to persons of low and moderate income;

(2) Many persons and families throughout this state occupy inadequate, overcrowded, unsafe, or unsanitary residential housing because they are unable to locate and secure suitable housing at a price that they can reasonably afford. This circumstance has resulted in undue concentrations of impoverished populations in certain areas, increased rates of crime, deterioration in human health, and other family and social dysfunction, thereby seriously and adversely affecting the public health, safety, and welfare of persons residing in this state;

(3) In addition to the lack of suitable, affordable housing, there persists in numerous areas of this state conditions of economic distress accompanied by physical deterioration of public facilities and commercial and residential infrastructure;

(4) It is the goal and policy of this state that all its residents shall have access to decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing in safe and livable neighborhoods and it is the policy of this state to assure the availability, for rental or sale, of decent, safe, and sanitary housing that is affordable to all persons residing in this state;

(5) It is further the goal and policy of this state that, to the maximum extent feasible, persons and families benefiting from activities authorized under the Nebraska Housing Agency Act be encouraged to become economically self-sufficient;

(6) Achieving permanent improvement in the living standards of persons of low and moderate income may require, in addition to providing enhanced housing opportunities, the delivery of social, educational, and other supportive services and the operation of programs to develop self-sufficiency and to provide economic and employment opportunities and other benefits for persons assisted under the act;

(7) Persons of low and moderate income possess inadequate access to sources of equity and financing for the purchase and ownership of housing at rates and upon terms reasonably affordable to such persons;

(8) The adverse conditions described in this section cannot be remedied, nor can the goals and policies of this section be successfully carried out, through the ordinary functioning of private enterprise alone. These objectives may be attainable by diligent efforts of public agencies acting both alone and cooperatively with private sector entities and enterprises. The actions of public agencies so taken are, therefor, not competitive with private enterprise;

(9) The replanning and reconstruction of areas in which housing is unsafe or unsanitary or in which neighborhoods are unlivable; the provision of decent, safe, and sanitary housing that is affordable to persons of low and moderate income, including the development, leasing, or sale thereof; and the provision of supportive services and programs benefiting persons and families receiving housing assistance under the act are public uses and purposes and essential governmental functions for which public funds may be spent and private property acquired. The character of any expenditures of public funds contemplated under the act as necessary and proper public expenditures for essential government functions is not altered because such expenditures may be made to, or in connection with, the activities of private sector entities or enterprises, whether nonprofit or for-profit in nature;

(10) The amount of funding for decent, safe, and sanitary housing that is affordable to persons of low and moderate income and for associated services to benefit such persons has not kept pace either with the growing demand for such housing and services or with the needs of local housing agencies to operate and maintain their facilities and programs. Since local housing agencies do not possess the power to tax, it is necessary to ensure other adequate funding sources for their activities. Accordingly, this state must provide to its local housing agencies sufficient power to adequately address the housing needs of persons of low and moderate income within this state and to operate related programs with funding derived from public and private sources as well as the federal government. In this regard it is further found that:

(a) Carrying out the purposes of the act may necessitate agreements with private sector entities and with other public entities. It is the policy of this state to encourage such public-private and intergovernmental cooperation;

(b) The purposes of the act will best be carried out by affording to local housing agencies of this state the maximum amount of flexibility, responsibility, and discretion. Therefor, in carrying out the purposes of the act, such agencies shall be presumed to possess necessary powers and legal prerogatives which will enable them to carry out their purposes;

(c) Adequately serving persons who are eligible for assistance under the act may be possible only if the income of local housing agencies is supplemented by income derived from providing housing to persons who are not eligible for such assistance; and

(d) Improved sources of financing must be made available to local housing agencies and by local housing agencies to the private sector of the economy to enable such agencies and private enterprise to increase the production of new housing and to conserve and preserve the supply of existing housing that is affordable for rental or sale to persons of low and moderate income;

(11) This state and its public agencies should be involved to a significant degree in the provision of decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing within safe, livable neighborhoods for its residents. It is the policy of this state to cooperate and to encourage all of its public agencies to cooperate with local housing agencies in order to facilitate, to the maximum extent feasible, the planning, development, and operation of decent, safe, and sanitary housing that is affordable to persons of low and moderate income;

(12) Adverse social conditions and crime problems, including drug-related crime problems, exist within this state and in some local housing agency developments. All reasonable and practicable steps should be taken to mitigate adverse social conditions and to lessen the effects of drug and crime problems on residents of local housing agency developments. Local housing agencies should possess reasonable power and authority to establish and implement policies and to take all reasonable actions appropriate to mitigate adverse social conditions and to eliminate drug and crime problems in their developments; and

(13) While it is the goal of this state to provide access to decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing to all of its residents, persons accepting assistance under the act shall, by such acceptance thereof, recognize their responsibilities to the local housing agencies providing such assistance and to other persons living in their vicinity. Accordingly, local housing agencies should be permitted to impose and enforce occupancy standards and requirements that are typical of those applicable in standard rental agreements.