Paradise Lakes Photo SNI

Vegetation grows around former homes at Paradise Lakes in Bellevue. Flooding in March eliminated a large portion of the affordable housing in Sarpy County.

Advocates in Sarpy County need community input to address an affordable housing shortage.

Those advocates are conducting a survey in hopes of identifying the housing needs in the county. The survey, which will be conducted by Hanna:Keelan Associates, will gather demographic data and analyze economic and housing trends.

The Housing Foundation for Sarpy County, a nonprofit connected to the Bellevue Housing Agency, commissioned the survey. A grant from the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority grant covered almost half of the $52,000 study, and several municipalities and nonprofits also chipped in.

“If we want to have people that provide more diverse populations and provide diversity of incomes we need to have the housing for them,” said Carolyn Pospisil, executive director of the Bellevue Housing Agency.

Affordable housing was already hard to come by in Sarpy County, but flooding this spring wiped out hundreds of units accessible to people with low incomes.

Many of those families that left or doubled up with friends or family are trying to move into permanent housing, Pospisil said.

“I think we’re seeing more of it because families that doubled up and stayed in temporary housing can no longer stay there,” she said.

Pospisil pointed to vacancy rates that showed available units were quickly being filled. Six months ago there were more than 150 vacancies in Sarpy County for three-bedroom units for less than $1,300, but as of Sept. 1, there were 59, according to a BHA survey.

“We’re seeing families trying to come back who left temporarily but there is nowhere for them to go,” she said.

The housing survey is available until Nov. 13 and can be completed online at bit.ly/sarpyhousingsurvey while hard copies will be available at and can be returned to the following locations:

  • Bellevue City Clerk’s office at 1500 Wall St.
  • Bellevue Housing Agency 8214 Armstrong Circle.
  • The Bellevue Public Library, 1003 Lincoln Road.
  • Bellevue Senior Community Center, 109 West 22nd Ave.
  • Bellevue Food Pantry, 1908 Hancock St.
  • Sarpy County Human Services Office, 1261 Golden Gate Drive Suite 1E.
  • Sarpy County Head Start, 701 Olson Drive #111, Papillion.
  • Papillion Public Library, 222 N Jefferson St.
  • La Vista Public Library, 9110 Giles Road.

For more information, contact the HFSC at 402-733-8179 or the City of Bellevue at 402-293-3000.

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