Building the Future


This is one of the houses built during phase I of the project which lasted from 2015 trough 2017. It is one of many built in Parkland Estates.

Many high schoolers are worried about the lack of job opportunities available in the North Platte area. The North Platte Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation (NPDC) hopes to stop the brain drain with a new housing program.

North Platte’s housing market has stagnated significantly over time. In fact, 75 percent of the housing in the city is 50 years old or older. There are so few new houses built that the population actually decreased in a period of 10 years. That’s where the new Shot in the Arm program comes in said Gary Person, president and CEO of the NPDC. It’s meant to kick start the growth of the population and attract more businesses to the area.

The overall goal is to grow population, and increase the available workforce, the most important aspect a company looks at before moving to a location. That’s what the businesses really look for said Person. “Finding those people to work is the hardest part.”

The Shot In the Arm program offers cash incentives to contractors on the condition that they build more clean, manageable housing in the hopes of increasing population. The growth of the city would catch the interest of businesses looking for a sustainable job environment. “The issue I see in North Platte is a lack of affordable housing,” said Brandy Buscher, NPHS Student Services Coordinator. “When we moved here, we couldn’t afford to live here, so we moved to Sutherland.”

Phase I is already completed. They successfully added 48 new homes and sold nearly all of them. Phase II hopes to more than double the new housing units. “As a community we’re going to try and be more aggressive with the housing development,” Person said.

From 2005-2015, North Platte’s population actually dropped 241 people, compared to other cities like Kearney and Columbus, which grew substantially. “Back in the 80’s, we were the biggest of…these cities,” said Person. “Now we’re fifth.”