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Notre Dame Housing History of Commitment

Notre Dame Housing began as the result of planning by the Notre Dame Sisters when they came to realize that fewer persons were entering religious life and the North American Motherhouse they called home would become an immense financial liability unless something was done. The Motherhouse was contiguous with Notre Dame Academy, an all-girls school from 1929 until it closed in 1974 when this all-girls school joined with an all-boys school to form the new and still-operating Roncalli Catholic High School, leaving the Academy empty.

notre dame housing aerial view

For a period of time, the Sisters used the school’s facilities to support retreats and group conference needs. Then, after careful consideration and significant planning, the Sisters tore down the 1964 wing of the academy and built new HUD Section 202 housing in 1996 and 1997. Over the course of 11 years (and two projects rolled into one), the Sisters completed the transformation of the Motherhouse into 62 units of affordable housing with a Section 42 tax credit and Historic tax credit project for its renewal.

Notre Dame Housing is much more than affordable housing for older adults; rather, it builds community within the boundaries of the campus and interacts in the neighborhood to build community through the provision of services on site for residents, by residents going into and contributing to the larger community, and by taking care of one to the other among residents and neighbors.

NDH Timeline

Learn more about the history of Notre Dame Housing and how it was established.

Sisters Arrive in Nebraska
black and white photo of sisters with students

The Notre Dame Sisters arrived in Nebraska in 1911 and eventually arrived in Omaha to assist Fr. Edward Flanagan at this newly formed Boys Home in the center of Omaha.

Purchase of Seven Oaks Farm
black and white photo of farm purchased for ndh

Sisters purchased the Seven Oaks Farm from Fr. Flanagan who proceeded to purchase the present site of Boys Town.

Building Notre Dame Academy
black and white photo of ndh building in 1925

Construction of the Motherhouse began in 1925 and by 1926 Notre Dame Academy opened with 15 students.

Archbishop Rummel High School Merger
black and white photo of ndh building in 1974
Notre Dame Academy continued for 49 years. In 1974 it merged with Archbishop Rummel High School for young men to form Roncalli Catholic High School.
Fire to the Motherhouse
fire at motherhouse in 1988
Fire in the east wing attic causes damage to Sisters’ bedrooms in what was then the Sisters’ Motherhouse. No one was hurt.
Notre Dame Housing Established
sisters cutting ribbon at ribbon cutting ceremony
The Sisters converted the Motherhouse and school into apartments and established Notre Dame Housing to meet the needs of older adults.
Dedication of HUD II
individuals at ribbon cutting for hud 11 dedication
Dedication of HUD II building which included a kitchen, dining room.
Motherhouse Converted
residents in new apartment building
Sisters planned to convert the rest of the building, serving as their Motherhouse to Notre Dame Housing bringing the number of apartments to 107, which it currently still has all occupied.
Ribbon Cutting for Last Apartments
ndh building front exterior in 2012
Ribbon cutting for the final phase Notre Dame Apartments.
Professional Management
Welcome two management companies (DP and Kimball) to serve the 117 residents and 107 apartment homes.