Building new homes and building Grand Island's tax base, Habitat for Humanity makes strides in a neighborhood called an eyesore.
Now the group known for building wants help tearing down an old property.
"We love to take down property like this," executive director Dana Jelinek said.
They're tearing down in order to build back up. Habitat's mission is to improve living conditions for hard-working low-income families. The houses are modest, but volunteer labor keeps prices down.
"Small houses that are easy to maintain and afford," Jelinek explained.
Before building more, they want to remove one at 11th and St. Paul Road in Grand Island.
Jelinek said there are a couple of reasons. "First of all because we want to eliminate problem properties or distressed properties from the neighborhood and second, if it doesn't come down, somebody else is going to move into it."
"They've done a great job," City Planning Director Chad Nabity said of Habitat.
That's why he's recommending the city council approve $60,000 in tax increment financing to help Habitat buy and tear down this eyesore.
The Community Redevelopment Authority already voted in favor of the plan.
Jelinek said, "The CRA's help on this is crucial because we would not be able to afford to purchase and demolish property plus infrastructure needed to build three brand new homes."
Habitat families do pay property taxes and the amount of taxes collected on this one corner lot could quadruple.
The old house is valued at $47,000. Nabity said the three new ones would have a tax value around $190,000. That's four times higher than collecting on the one property.
And Jelinek said it eliminates people from living in a house that officials call "worn out."
She said, "We can eliminate a problem property and put a new property in its place, that's a win-win-win for everybody involved."
The area's long been declared a blight. Nabity said Grand Island benefits from the Habitat homes, beyond the increased tax base.
He said Habitat for Humanity homeowners "receive more training than most" and as a result, keep up their property.
Jelinek said that spills over into entire neighborhoods.
She said, "You're looking across the street and there's a brand new house there that's well-maintained where there once stood problem property, you kind of pick up your game and make your property better as well."
Planning director Chad Nabity said the CRA's really been concentrating on projects like this.
When neighborhoods fall into disrepair, it can lead to crime and other problems. So to see someone invest in new construction is what they want to happen.