From the Director, September 2016

JoleneKlineWeb

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

It is with great anticipation that we have been looking forward to the release of the Statewide Housing Needs Assessment. That document is a valuable compass for our agency, for our communities, for our housing partners and really for anyone with an interest in where we are headed as a state.

Coming up with projections of housing need is not an easy task. There are so many variables that can change very quickly as we have seen over the past decade. The researchers at North Dakota State University based the projections on the information we know today and what the historical trends show us. They are rooted in the science of demography and follow a path from individuals to society and the economy in general via the abodes which we all choose. They show us how people in North Dakota live and what our possible future could look like.

I say “possible” because despite the scientific basis, the projections are still just a best guess. I like to say they are projections – not necessarily destiny. Whatever the projections may be, they require action. Homes don’t just appear in a community; they have to be built. And for those areas that might not like what the projections show, we have to take action to make positive changes. Whether it is a new company providing more jobs or some cultural shift where people make different choices than they did in the past, our trajectory can be influenced and it is up to all of us to do that.

I didn’t want to rehash all the numbers for you here or set some overarching goal because I want you to read the assessment and look for yourself at what priorities you see emerging in your community. After you do that, I want your input. We will be holding stakeholder forums in each region in a couple of weeks and I hope you take that opportunity to come discuss with us how together we can influence our future. I look forward to seeing you there!

Compliance Elements: Training for MF Housing Programs

complianceelementsregopenNorth Dakota Housing Finance Agency will host a Multi-family Housing Programs Compliance Training at the Comfort Inn in Bismarck, ND, on Oct. 26, 2016.

Managers of properties that received development assistance through NDHFA’s Housing Incentive Fund, Law Enforcement Housing Pilot Program, Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Rural Housing Rehabilitation Program are encouraged to attend.

“The training will provide an opportunity for property managers to learn how to successfully manage the annual compliance monitoring requirements associated with our programs,” said Jennifer Henderson, director of NDHFA’s planning and housing development division.

The one-day training will focus on annual desk reviews including completion of compliance reports, calculating utility allowances and financial reporting, and qualifying tenants and managing their files. Training participates will receive sample forms, participate in case studies, and time will be allotted for Q&A with the agency’s compliance staff.

There are no registration fees for the compliance training, however pre-registration is required. More details on the compliance training will be provide directly to property managers in mid-September.  

FirstHome™ Lender Training Fall Schedule

LenderTrainingLinkImageNorth Dakota Housing Finance Agency will host two FirstHome™ lender training sessions this fall.

“FirstHome lender training is geared to the new staff of our participating lenders, new or pending participating lenders, and current lender staff that want a refresher course,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director.

The training is intended to introduce participating lenders to the Agency’s homeownership programs – FirstHome, HomeAccess and North Dakota Roots, provide a review of different loan types, borrower and property eligibility, and guide lenders through the process of locking a loan with NDHFA.

The training sessions will be held on Oct. 5 at the Expressway Suites, 4303 17th Ave S, Fargo, and Oct. 12 at the Comfort Inn, 1030 E Interstate Ave, Bismarck. Both sessions are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. and to be completed no later than 1:00 p.m.

There are no registration fees for the lender training, however pre-registration is required. A block of sleeping rooms are reserved at both hotels. If you have questions, contact Dave Flohr or Kim Becker at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

Housing Needs Assessment Regional Forums Planned

StakeholderForumBISMARCK, ND – In conjunction with the release of the 2016 Statewide Housing Needs Assessment, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is hosting regional stakeholder forums across the state to allow community leaders and members of the public to learn more about projected housing needs in their area.

An analysis of the state’s current and future housing needs, the Assessment is available online at www.ndhfa.org. It was conducted by the Center for Social Research and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.

The regional forums will feature a presentation by Assessment author Dr. Nancy Hodur as well as a discussion of housing needs and priorities specific to each region. Community leaders, business people, housing stakeholders and the general public are invited to provide their input at these meetings.

Regional Stakeholder Forums, all times are local:

  •  Tri-County Region I – Sept. 19 at 10 a.m., Williston Center for Development, Planning and Zoning Conference Room (2nd floor), 113 4th St East, Williston, ND.
  • Roosevelt-Custer Region VIII – Sept. 19 at 3 p.m., Dickinson Public Library, Community Room, 139 West 3rd St, Dickinson, ND.
  • Souris Basin Region II – Sept. 20 at 10 a.m., Minot Public Library, North Room, 516 2nd Ave SW, Minot, ND.
  • North Central Region III – Sept. 20 at 3 p.m., Lake Region State College, Chautauqua Room, 1801 College Dr N, Devils Lake, ND.
  • Red River Region IIII – Sept. 21 at 10 a.m., Grand Forks Herald, Community Room (Alley Entrance), 375 2nd Ave N, Grand Forks, ND.
  • Lake Agassiz Region V – Sept. 21 at 3 p.m., Fargo Public Library Community Room, 102 N 3rd St, Fargo, ND.
  • South Central Region VI – Sept. 22 at 10 a.m., Jamestown/Stutsman County Development Corp., 120 2nd St SE, Jamestown, ND.
  • Lewis & Clark Region VII – Sept. 22 at 3 p.m., State Capitol, Pioneer Room, 600 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND.

Assessment components include a statewide population and housing forecast, regional profiles and detailed tables broken down by various levels of geography including the state as a whole, the eight planning regions, 53 counties, 12 major cities and four Native American Indian Reservations. An additional study component that examines several special topics such as recent trends in housing costs and special populations will be released in September.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

NDSU’s Center for Social Research is an applied social science research unit dedicated to providing a venue through which a wide variety of research activities are facilitated. Hodur is the Center’s director and has over 25 years of professional experience in applied research, public policy and outreach education.

Bank Challenges Others to Support Affordable Housing

Wells Fargo Makes Second Housing Incentive Fund Contribution

BISMARCK, ND – With a $1 million check to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) in hand, a Bismarck banker challenged other state taxpayers to make a contribution to the affordable housing development program.

Wells Fargo Makes Second Housing Incentive Fund Contribution

John Giese, business banking area manager for Wells Fargo in North Dakota, presents NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline with a $1 million contribution to the state’s Housing Incentive Fund.

John Giese, business banking area manager for Wells Fargo in North Dakota, presented the contribution – the bank’s second since HIF was renewed in July 2015 – and called on other businesses and individuals to join Wells Fargo in supporting the program.

“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting affordable housing to improve the quality of life for everyone in North Dakota, and one of the ways we honor that commitment is by supporting the HIF program,” said Giese. “With this second contribution, we’ve narrowed the gap a bit more, and now we encourage others to step up and contribute so these essential housing projects can move forward.”

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has until the end of 2016 to raise the final $2 million needed to fully capitalize HIF. The state program relies on taxpayer support to provide low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing. During the 2015 legislative session, NDHFA was given the authority to issue $30 million in state tax credits for the program. While contributions came in at a rapid rate in the first six months of the biennium with the agency securing $24.5 million by year end, the pace declined considerably this spring.

“We are very appreciative of Wells Fargo’s on-going support for HIF and ultimately for the families in North Dakota who need affordable housing the most like seniors and lower-wage workers,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA’s executive director. “We are so close to reaching our goal of fully funding HIF, just a little more help is needed so our pending projects are not lost.”

In March, NDHFA made conditional commitments to developments in Bismarck, Bowman, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Gwinner, Minot, Valley City and Williston. The agency must secure the final contributions needed before the projects can begin construction.

“There simply aren’t enough rental units in our state that are affordable for households that are reliant on Social Security or for someone who earns modest wages,” Kline said. “HIF has been making a difference in the lives of real North Dakotans and we hope we can continue that good work. Wells Fargo’s contribution is helping us get there.”

Individuals and businesses that make contributions to HIF receive a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit. More information is available online at www.ndhousingincentivefund.org or by contacting NDHFA at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

Since the program’s inception in 2011, NDHFA has allocated more than $89.6 million to 78 projects, leveraging over $425 million in construction financing to support the development of 2,450 new apartments statewide.

Elderly and Childbearing Households Will Drive Future Housing Needs

JUST RELEASEDBISMARCK, ND – Elderly households and those in their prime childbearing years are the populations projected to drive housing needs in North Dakota in coming years, according to a Statewide Housing Needs Assessment released today by researchers at North Dakota State University.

The assessment was sponsored by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency and other housing stakeholders in the state.

“In-migration prompted by energy development and economic growth reversed decades of population decline, making our state younger and positioning North Dakota for more growth in coming years,” said NDSU Center for Social Research Director Dr. Nancy Hodur. “As the Baby Boom generation continues to age, we will see an increase in our senior population as well.”

From 2010 to 2015, North Dakota’s population growth outpaced all 50 states increasing 13 percent, from 672,591 to 756,927, and reversed decades of decline in rural communities.
North Dakota’s future growth in the state is projected to be more balanced with the state’s population increasing another 21 percent to 891,268 by 2029. The number of individuals age 65 and over is projected to grow 52 percent. Individuals in their prime childbearing years, age 25 to 44, are projected to increase 30 percent.

While housing needs are projected to increase fairly evenly across all income categories, the greatest needs will come from lower income households for which the proportion of the state’s current housing stock that is affordable is very limited. Extremely low- and very-low income households are projected to increase by 24 and 25 percent, respectively, compared to 19 and 20 percent increases for moderate and higher income households.

“The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s priority is to assist communities in addressing housing challenges and we remain focused on meeting the affordable housing needs of all North Dakotans,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “The assessment’s findings show a vibrant state and NDHFA looks forward to the role housing can play in keeping North Dakota growing into the future.”

The assessment, conducted by the Center for Social Research and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University, is available online at www.ndhfa.org. It consists of several components – a statewide population and housing forecast, regional profiles and detailed tables broken down by various levels of geography including the state as a whole, the eight planning regions, 53 counties, 12 major cities and four Native American Indian Reservations. An additional study component that examines several special topics such as recent trends in housing costs and special population will be released in September.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

NDSU’s Center for Social Research is an applied social science research unit dedicated to providing a venue through which a wide variety of research activities are facilitated. Hodur is the Center’s director and has over 25 years of professional experience in applied research, public policy and outreach education.

Mortgage Relief Scam

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has alerted its borrowers about a mortgage relief scam.

ScamAlertAn NDHFA customer recently received a letter that used the logos of the state agency and Making Home Affordable, a federal government program. While the letter includes some legitimate contact information for both agencies, the toll-free phone numbers provided were not NDHFA’s and the staff person listed on the letter does not work for NDHFA.

The letter said that the recipient has been approved to enter a trial period plan under the Home Affordable Modification Program, and it instructs the recipient to make their first monthly “trial period payment” to qualify for a permanent modification.

“NDHFA will never contact you directly to refinance your loan, and no legitimate mortgage lender will ask you to make an advance payment to qualify for a loan modification,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “It appears that the primary goal of the letter is to obtain the borrower’s social security number.”

Borrowers that receive a suspicious call or correspondence regarding an NDHFA mortgage, should report it to the agency’s Loan Servicing Department, (701) 328-8080, (800) 292-8621 or hfaservicing@nd.gov.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.