Organization Matches Homes with Owners

Roger Nadrchal helps make dreams come true.

By doing so, he not only helps improve the quality of life for the dreamer, but he also helps to improve the quality of life for the community in which the dreamer lives.

After graduating from high school in Clarkson in 1979, Nadrchal moved to Norfolk to attend Northeast Community College — then Norfolk Junior College — with a goal of earning an accounting degree. A teacher there suggested he apply for a job at a local savings and loan company.

He got the job, earned his degree and spent the next years rising in the ranks in the banking business — from teller to branch manager to district manager and so on. During that time, he sold annuities and mutual funds, handled consumer loans and mortgage lending and more. He enjoyed “getting to know customers and helping them take care of their financial business,” he said.

In 1996, when he learned about a new nonprofit organization coming to town to help people buy homes, he applied for the position as director.

It appealed to him, he said, because he had “always been interested in housing because of my experience with mortgage lending.”

The organization was called the Elkhorn Valley Community Development Corp. Its purpose was and is to buy and rehab existing houses, build new houses and provide assistance on down payments to people who want to buy a house.
At the time Nadrchal was hired, the corporation had enough money to operate for two years. His job was to find additional funding and clients to buy the properties.

Nadrchal must have had the magic touch because in the past 20 years, the organization has helped 750 families fulfill their dreams of owning a home. And the staff has gone from one to seven. Often, by the time potential buyers visit Nadrchal, they have located a home and been approved for a bank loan, too.
That’s helpful, Nadrchal said, because it reduces the “risk” involved in the project and shortens the holding time when a buyer is waiting.

In that case, the organization, now known as NeighborWorks Northeast Nebraska, will buy the property, make up to $25,000 worth of improvements and sell the house to them. The organization also may offer up to $20,000 in assistance to go toward a down payment. That money must be paid back if the property is sold.
Improvements may include updating the electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, removing lead paint, replacing windows and more. Cosmetic updates, such as new paint and carpeting, will be considered if money is available and if the appraisal will support it.

“The home has to be made safe,” Nadrchal said.

In addition to rehabilitating older houses, the organization has built new homes and duplexes, some of which are located in a development south of Northeast Community College.

Since beginning, NeighborWorks has rehabilitated 583 houses and built 142, which have housed 1,017 adults and 802 children for a total of 1,824.

NeighborWorks’ funding comes from a variety of sources, including grants and donations.
While helping people buy a house is important, it’s just as important to provide people with the tools they need to make sure they can maintain and pay for it.

For that reason, NeighborWorks offers homebuyer education classes that people who participate in the program are required to attend. The eight-hour course covers maintenance, budgeting, title insurance, taxes and more.

Since 1994, the organization has provided homebuyer education to 2,689 households.

A money management course also is offered but not required of homeowners.

Although Nadrchal recognizes that there will always be people who need houses, he’s been pleased with the organization’s success.

“We’re trying to fill needs ... one house at a time,” he said.


This was written by Sherly Schmeckpeper and published in the February 15, 2018 Insight Edition of the Norfolk Daily News.

Posted on: Feb 22, 2018 - 8:47 AM
Last modified on: Feb 22, 2018 - 8:48 AM

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