Boone County is not alone in housing shortage

The process has become frustratingly familiar to Vince Dugan.
Three times in the past two months, he’s offered someone a job at Trego-Dugan, a national aviation company long headquartered in North Platte.
Three times, the potential aircraft maintenance manager or national safety director has accepted the high-skilled job, ready to move to town with a family.
Three times, Dugan’s potential hires backed out after looking at the North Platte housing market and failing to find a suitable home.
“Even with competitive wages, we’re unable to get people to move here,” Dugan said. “Not because they are afraid of coming to rural America, but because they have nowhere to live.”
It’s a struggle familiar to nearly every Nebraska mid-sized city and small town. There simply aren’t enough houses. The few on the market are aging and often need repair.
At a time when remote work increasingly allows Americans to work from anywhere, the lack of rural Nebraska housing is a major barrier to towns trying to attract new families and new workers to fill frontline and managerial jobs.
“Job creation is the easy part,” said Dan Mauk, executive director of the Nebraska City Area Economic Development Corporation.
Complete feature by Natalia Alamdari, Flatwater Free Press, in the Feb. 23 Albion News/Boone County Tribune, print and e-editions.