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Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH)

History Committees
Mission Statement Upcoming Events
Bylaws Meeting Agenda
Current Commissioners Meeting Minutes

Opening Doors: 10 Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness in the State of Nebraska .pdf (731 KB)

HUD Releases 3-Year Study of Strategies to End Family Homelessness .pdf (265 KB)

The combined commission is called the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness (NCHH) and is composed of 15 members appointed by the Governor as well as at-large non-voting members representing interests of each prior commission, council, or committee.

The objective of the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness is to develop ongoing, specific policies and program recommendations for the Governor that address affordable housing and homelessness/at risk of homelessness issues.

Issues include identifying and monitoring the implementation of:

  • Models of community-based affordable housing production and homeless/near-homeless programs;
  • Progressive housing and homelessness/near-homelessness policies, plans and courses of action; and
  • Continuum of Care-based models that provide supportive services for persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.


The Nebraska Interagency Council on the Homeless was established on September 21, 1994 by Governor Nelson with Executive Order 94-6. The original Council was composed of approximately 30 members representing the Nebraska Crime Commission; State Departments of Agriculture, Corrections, Economic Development, Education, Health, Labor, Public Institutions, Social Services and Veterans Affairs; homeless shelter and assistance providers; community organizations; Federal, State and local agencies; advocacy groups, business and industry. The Council was charged to:

  • Focus attention on and increase awareness of the needs of homeless families and persons in Nebraska;
  • Encourage continuity, coordination and cooperation among state agencies and homeless service providers;
  • Coordinate the development of a statewide comprehensive plan that established a method of periodically counting the number and types of homeless and near-homeless people and the causes of homelessness; provided an inventory of agencies and service providers; and established common terms and definitions for the purposes of data-gathering and program descriptions.
  • Serve as an advisory body to the Governor on issues of homelessness.

On May 13, 1998, Executive Order 98-4 consolidated the Nebraska Affordable Housing Commission, the Nebraska Interagency Council on the Homeless, and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee in order to provide for efficiencies in the manner in which these issues were addressed in Nebraska.


Mission Statement
To serve as the advisory body on housing and homelessness/near homelessness issues and to make recommendations on the Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant Program and Homeless Shelter Assistance Trust Fund to the Governor and the Legislature.

NCHH Vision
Nebraska supports a statewide Continuum of Care which serves to coordinate services provided to all people and promotes, safe, decent, affordable, appropriate housing resulting in healthy, viable communities.


Revised November 2010 .pdf


Current Commissioners

Please click the arrow next to a commission’s name to view biographical information.

Charles Coley:

Charles serves as executive director of the Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless (MACCH), which is the lead Continuum of Care applicant for the metro Omaha and Council Bluffs (Iowa) regions, respectively. In this capacity, he convenes regional housing and homeless service providers and ensures continued implementation of "Homes for All: Omaha's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness."

From 2008-2012, Charles served as Coordinator of the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program (NHAP) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). During his DHHS tenure, Charles coordinated the merger of Nebraska's five rural Continuum of Care (CoC) regions--resulting in Nebraska's first ever competitively funded CoC-Balance of State application. This merger immediately increased permanent supportive housing stock within rural Nebraska, thereby providing effective and additional housing solutions for homeless Nebraskans. While at DHHS, Charles also ensured ongoing development and implementation of "Completing the Journey: Nebraska's Action Plan for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness."

Charles serves as co-chairperson of the Commission's State Continuum of Care Committee. He has an MS degree from Oklahoma State University.

Ryan Durant:

In his current role as the Vice President of Affordable Housing at Cornerstone Associates, Ryan works with various communities across the Midwest to identify housing needs. Ryan's diverse background includes Property Management, Development, Construction, and Consulting of market-rate and affordable housing. During his career, he has been involved with approximately $90 million of housing development, including both new construction and rehabilitation projects. Ryan works diligently to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure successful funding and oversees construction until property operations have successfully taken over the project. Ryan's passion for increasing affordable housing and the prevention and ending of homelessness are evident through his role as Metro Area Continuum Care Homeless (MACCH) Board Director. In addition to his MACCH Board service, Ryan is also Board Director for Notre Dame Housing.

Paul Hamelink:

biographical information coming soon

Lee Ann Heflebower:

biographical information coming soon

Ardith Hoins:

Ardith is the Family & Community Services Director for Blue Valley Community Action Partnership. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1970. She received experience working in programs serving limited-income individuals and families for over 40 years. In nine rural counties BVCA Partnership provides opportunities for individuals & families to obtain or maintain self-sufficiency and economic success in their lives. She has represented BVCA Partnership in the Southeast Nebraska Continuum of Care since its inception in 1998. She is a member of the Nebraska Commission on Housing & Homelessness and serves on the Balance of State Continuum of Care Committee.

Thomas Judds:

Thomas Judds serves the Planning and Development Manager for the Lincoln Housing Authority in Lincoln, Nebraska. Prior to this, Judds held the position of executive vice president at City Impact, a Lincoln bases nonprofit with the mission of transforming urban neighborhoods through holistic youth and family programming and community investment. Judds has nearly 15 years’ experience in the affordable housing industry (syndication and development), specifically the low-income housing tax credit program. In addition, Judds was in the banking profession for approximately 12 years. At the end of 2015, Judds completed his role as Chair on the Nebraska Commission for Housing and Homelessness and continues as a member of the executive committee. His a past board member of the Nebraska Housing Developers Association and the Affordable Housing Management Association for Nebraska/Iowa. He received his Associates for Applied Science in Business Management from Metropolitan Community College and is a member of the honorary fraternity Phi Theta Kappa

Steve Kunzman:

Steve is the Sr. Vice President / Chief Lending Officer with Home Federal Bank of Grand Island. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Ag Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Steve and his wife, Colleen, have three children.

Steve has been with Home Federal Bank for the past 26 years. Home Federal has a long history of Home lending that dates back to its origins in 1935. Their past and present lending activities include participation in First Time Buyer programs through NIFA, VA, FHA and USDA Rural Housing. Home Federal Bank has also provided financing for several low income tax credit projects for low income rehab projects in the area.

Currently, Steve is the Chairman of Fonner Park in Grand Island, board member on The Central District Heath Department, member of the St. Leo’s Parish Council and of the Riverside Country Club Holding Association Board.

Steve’s former civic and charity involvement includes chairing the Heartland United Way, the Great Plain Chapter of American Red Cross, the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Island Area Economic Development Corp. and the St. Francis Hospital Foundation. In addition, Steve is a former board member of the Nebraska Mortgage Association and the Grand Island Community Foundation, as well as being a former Nebraska Diplomat.

Kathryn L. Mesner:

Kathryn is an attorney and real estate developer from Central City, Nebraska. She and her husband, Clifford Mesner, own Mesner Development Co. and Mesner Law Office. The Mesners have developed Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects in Nebraska and Kansas for over twenty years. Many of these projects have been built in smaller communities providing much needed new housing stock in rural areas.

In 2007 Kathryn was appointed by the Governor to serve as a member of the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness. She recently completed a two year term as Chairperson of the Commission. Mesner Development Co. was the recipient of the "2012 Kansas Housing Resources Corporation's Ad Astra Award for Housing Development (Urban)" for the 64-unit Echo Ridge Green Community serving tenants of the Topeka, Kansas Housing Authority. In 2006 the Mesners were inducted into the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s Housing Hall of Fame. In 2005 the Mesners were recognized by the Nebraska Housing Developers Association for Promoting and Investing in Housing Development.

Kathryn has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Allied Health from the University of Nebraska Medical School, a Master of Arts Degree in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Juris Doctor Degree graduating with distinction from the University Nebraska College of Law.

Roger Nadrachal:

Roger is the founding Chief Executive Officer of NeighborWorks® Northeast Nebraska based in Norfolk, Nebraska. NeighborWorks® Northeast Nebraska originated in 1994 and currently serves seven counties providing Purchase/ Rehabilitation/ Resell, New Construction, Community Revitalization and Homebuyer Education programs. Under Roger’s direction, the NeighborWorks® Northeast Nebraska has developed 550 single-family homes valuing in excess of 47 million dollars in northeast Nebraska. NeighborWorks® Northeast Nebraska maintains an “Exemplary” status within the NeighborWorks® America network. Roger commits many hours of his personal and professional time to his community and furthering the mission of affordable housing. Roger is involved in the following organizations: Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Norfolk Noon Kiwanis, Nebraska Housing Developers Association-Board Member/Past Chair, Nebraska Commission on Housing & Homelessness, NeighborWorks® America-Rural Advisory Council and Real Estate Advisory Committee and past Chair-FHL Bank Topeka-Affordable Housing Advisory Council.

Judy Pederson:

Judy is the owner of Pro Printing and Graphics in North Platte. Judy served for on the North Platte City Council for 8 years. She has worked closely with many community partners including the Lincoln County Substandard Housing Coalition. Judy was recently appointed by the Governor as a Commissioner on the Nebraska Housing and Homeless Commission.

Carna Pfeil:

Carna recently retired as Executive Director of the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. During her tenure as executive director and associate director, she developed several programs to assist low-income high school students to remain in high school, take college courses and receive college credit free-of-charge, and to progress on to enrolling in college after high school graduation. The purpose of these programs continues to be to assist low-income/poverty young people to move out of the poverty cycle they have known and on to good paying jobs and careers. Carna was also instrumental in securing funding for a program that works with and supports Nebraska’s wards-of-the- court helping them graduate from high school, enroll in college, and eventually graduate from college.

Prior to her tenure at the Coordinating Commission, Carna was a banker in Iowa and Nebraska. She was a commercial lender, a real estate lender, and developer of cash management services for commercial clients of the banks. Carna was a member of the Midwest Cash Management Association and is a certified cash manager (CCM). She, also, worked as a medical technologist at the University of Illinois’ McKinley Hospital and assisted doctors at the medical center’s free clinics in Urbana, Illinois.

Carna has two bachelor’s degrees – one in medical technology and one in financial management. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Carna was a licensed real estate broker and is currently a nationally certified cash manager.

Dr. Pfeil has been a board member of the Midwest Higher Education Compact, Every Women Matters Commission, the Midwest Cash Management Association, and has been a member of various other professional and civic organizations, including an advisory committee to the U.S Department of Education. Currently, Carna is a volunteer at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach in Lincoln. She was recently appointed by the Governor to the Nebraska Housing and Homeless Commission.

Sara Tichota:

biographical information coming soon

John Turner:

John is the Housing Coordinator at Region V Systems. John received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1990. John has been working in the housing arena with individuals and families for over 20 years.

John has been instrumental in the success of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health Program called the State Housing Related Assistance Program. Through this funding he created an integral housing program for consumers with mental health and substance abuse issues. He has been recognized for his collaborative efforts with Local Public Housing Authorities, housing developers and non-profit organizations throughout Southeast Nebraska. His most recent accomplishment was to be awarded a HUD Permanent Supportive Housing grant through the Nebraska Balance of State Continuum of Care. This program provides 24 rural permanent housing vouchers to homeless consumers with disabilities. John is the current Chair of the Lincoln Homeless Coalition, is a member of the Southeast Nebraska Continuum of Care and is a Governor appointed Commissioner on the Nebraska Housing and Homeless Commission.

John serves as Chairperson of the Commission's Education and Awareness Committee.

Brent Williams:

Brent is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Excel Development Group. Brent received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Business from Doane College. Brent is responsible for all Excel operations, including Property Management, Development, Construction, and Consulting. Excel specializes in the use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, the Federal HOME program, as well as other state programs, to successfully develop private and public projects that provide housing for low-to-moderate income citizens in communities of all sizes. He oversees the design, construction, delivery and quality of the housing and services provided by Excel and its partners.

Brent serves as the primary spokesperson and representative for Excel and actively advocates for the need for housing for low income families and seniors.

Brent currently serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka, the Resource Committee for the Nebraska Housing Developers Association and is a Governor appointed Commissioner on the Nebraska Commission on Housing and Homelessness.

Brent serves as Chairperson of the Commission's Policies and Issues Committee

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Apply for Commission:https://www.governor.nebraska.gov/contact/exe-appt.php


This Commission is comprised of three Standing Committees in addition to the Executive Committee: Continuum of Care Committee; Policy & Issues committee; and Education & Awareness Committee.

Standing Committees will meet more than quarterly as deemed appropriate and elect a Chairperson from Commission members serving on the Committee. Members serve for one year or until their successors are appointed.

Non-Commission members may serve on the Policy and Issues Committee, Education and Awareness Committee, and Ad Hoc Committees when invited by the Committee and appointed by the Commission. Non-Commission members may serve on the Continuum of Care committee when invited by the Committee and appointed by the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program administrator.

Please click the arrow next to a committee’s name to view additional information.

The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is comprised of a Chairperson and a Vice- Chairperson. In addition to the officers, the Executive Committee shall include the past Chairperson by virtue of the office, the Chairpersons from the Standing Committees, and the Commission Coordinator. This committee is responsible to the Commission and makes recommendations for the development and review of such items as the agenda, minutes, by-laws, etc.

John Turner and Ryan Durant serve as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Commission’s Executive Committee.

The Continuum of Care Committee

The Continuum of Care Committee provides recommendations regarding the needs of individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. The committee proposes possible strategies to address these needs and to prevent and end homelessness in the future.

Charles Coley and Lee Heflebower serves as co-chairperson of the Commission's State Continuum of Care Committee.

The Policies and Issues Committee

The Policies and Issues Committee reviews and advises the Commission on the Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Annual Action Plan and Application Guidelines; the Rules and Regulations governing The Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Funds; the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority’s Qualified Allocation Plan and Application Guidelines. The committee monitors current legislation at both the State and Federal level and provides recommendations to the Commission on legislation that may affect housing or homelessness.

Sara Tichota serves as the Chairperson of the Commission's Policies and Issues Committee.

The Education and Awareness Committee

The Education and Awareness Committee provides education and awareness to the general public in the State of Nebraska in relation to housing and homelessness issues. This includes collaboration with housing providers, housing developers and local continuums of care for the purpose of dissemination of information via social media outlets, public service announcements, news and radio media, etc…

Judy Pedersen serves as the Chairperson of the Commission's Education and Awareness Committee.

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Upcoming Events:

NCHH meetings are held quarterly:

March 20, 2017 NCHH 1st quarterly meeting 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
June 2017 NCHH 2nd quarterly meeting TBD
September 2017 NCHH 3rd quarterly meeting TBD
November 2017 NCHH 4th quarterly meeting TBD


Meeting Agenda


Meeting Minutes
November 30, 2016 Minutes Draft .pdf
September 2016 Minutes .pdf
June 2016 Minutes .pdf
March 2016 Minutes .pdf


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