Developer Receives Needed Housing Funds for Renovation of Former Mandan School

 

Microsoft PowerPoint - Mandan Presentation 8-29-16

Mandan’s former junior high

Mandan’s former junior high school property is going to have a new life with a planned $8.3 million in investment to provide 39 units of affordable housing. The Commonwealth Companies of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, plans to move forward with the project thanks in part to funding announced this week by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA).

New Tricks for Old Bricks

“We are thrilled to be a part of this project and grateful to the community and NDHFA for the support,” says Erin Anderson, Commonwealth Companies vice president of development in the midwest region. “We believe affordable housing communities open a door to opportunity for families and individuals, and this project will provide an opportunity to revitalize the neighborhood around the former junior high as well. We are looking forward to working with MetroPlains Management who has provided outstanding affordable housing property management in other properties in Mandan.”

Commonwealth will now be executing an agreement to purchase the property from Mother Teresa Outreach, an affiliate of Spirit of Life Catholic Church, Mandan. The development company plans to begin building renovations in March 2017 and looks to have the project completed and occupied by January 2018.

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Preliminary site plans

The project will consist of eight three-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units, and three one-bedroom units. Of these, six units will be designated as permanent supportive housing for individuals and families that have experienced homelessness.

Building and site plans include a wellness center, chapel, community rooms and outdoor playground with improved landscaping and green space. The amenities are for use by families living in the building. The newer gymnasium will be demolished to allow for more off-street parking and green space. Support services will be provided by Mother Teresa Outreach.

Federal Funding Gets Project Over Hump

The NDHFA administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) programs in North Dakota. Commonwealth was awarded $698,822 in credit authority through the LIHTC program and $1,021,024 through the HTF for the adaptive reuse of the former school into La Sagrada Familia Apartments.

Under the LIHTC program, property owners receive the federal tax credits for 10 years. The federal tax credits are sold to investors to generate equity for affordable housing projects. Projects supported by the program must be affordable for households at or below 60 percent of area median income for at least 15 years.

The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low income households, those earning less than 30 percent of the area median income. Financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans with a minimum term of 30 years. Twelve of the units in the project fall under this category including the six permanent supportive housing units mentioned earlier.

Local Support Also Needed

To be considered for federal funds, projects needed evidence of local support equal to at least 1 percent of project costs. The Mandan City Commission in September approved a loan of $83,186 toward the project. This serves as a partial community match toward an interest buy-down program available through the Bank of North Dakota. CommunityWorks North Dakota is providing the remainder of the local match, $89,904, also in the form of a loan.

The Mandan City Commission additionally approved payments in lieu of taxes for the project to help it cash flow. The developer will pay local taxing entities a fixed $20,000 annually for the first five years following renovation with a 3 percent escalator in years six through 15. The property currently generates about $3,000 in property taxes.

When voting to approve the assistance, Mayor Tim Helbling cited the need to address the blighted property and “make the neighborhood whole again.”

Property History

Located at 406 4th Avenue NW, the adjoined buildings served throughout their lifetime in various combinations as a senior high, elementary and junior high. Most recently, from September 2008 through December 2009, the newest portion provided educational space for sixth graders as the Great Plains Academy. Mandan Public School District sold the property in August 2012 to GPA, LLC, led by Yegen Development, Grand Forks. Yegen attempted a redevelopment project, but later deemed the project infeasible and donated the property to the Spirit of Life Catholic Church.

The original building was constructed in 1917 with sections added in 1924, 1954, 1966, 1977 and 1990. It is mostly two stories, three stories in one section, and approximately 110,000 square feet. It occupies an entire city block, sitting on approximately 2.07 acres of land. The property is surrounded by single-family homes, both owner- and renter-occupied.

Jeremiah Program Receives $1.05 Million From National Housing Trust Fund for Fargo-Area Campus

JeremiahJeremiah Program today announced receipt of a $1.05 million award from the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF), administered through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA). The funds will be used to build a 20-apartment campus for low-income single mothers and their children in Fargo, ND.

The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low income households—those earning less than 30 percent of area median income. Financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans with a minimum term of 30 years.

“This vital funding moves us toward the finish line of necessary capital to construct our building and break ground in 2017,” said Diane Solinger, executive director of Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead. “Our community as a whole will benefit from the affordable housing and supportive services this campus will offer.”

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director, concurred: “By providing housing for our most vulnerable state residents, we strengthen and stabilize our communities.”

The Jeremiah campus in Fargo, to be built on land donated by Catholic Health Initiatives at 801 Page Drive, will provide safe and affordable housing, an on-site early childhood education center, and individualized support for helping women get into and through career-track, college degree programs. Jeremiah serves low-income single mothers with children under the age of five. Currently, more than 2,300 single mothers are living in poverty in the Fargo area, a number that has increased 16 percent over the last six years. The majority of these mothers have children under the age of four.

“Leaders in the Fargo area have worked diligently for several years to bring Jeremiah’s two-generation approach to families who need a hand-up,” said Jeremiah President & CEO Gloria Perez. “This grant makes it possible for us to leverage further support from individuals, local businesses and foundations for the benefit of the determined families we serve.”

About Jeremiah Program
Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the organization has fully operational campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, with another campus opening in Austin, TX, in early 2017, and pilot programs underway in Boston, MA.

About NDHFA
A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees NDHFA.

From the Director, November 2016

JoleneKlineWeb

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

The next year will be interesting for affordable housing in North Dakota and across the country. With economic, political and demographic changes all afoot, there are many unknowns.
The recent elections will bring a new president, new governor and many new legislators in North Dakota. Learning more about their policy aims and helping to provide information on housing needs in the state to them is an important task for us. There will be many issues on the table and we need to make sure that housing is not forgotten.

There were some housing champions who retired or were defeated and we will miss working with them, but I am hopeful that we will have good working relationships with all of our policymakers and that a new crop of champions will arise. I thank our past elected officials for their service to our state and congratulate all those who won a seat.

As the Statewide Housing Needs Assessment shows us, the affordable housing needs in North Dakota are real and they are significant. With increases in seniors, low-income households and people with a disability expected in the next 15 years, our work definitely is not done. Having the resources to address those needs could be a challenge. As our latest allocation round for the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program showed us, there just is not enough money to fund all of the good and needed projects that are out there. In the last several years, we can only fund about half of the projects that apply for funds. The Housing Incentive Fund has helped make up that difference and has been a powerful tool. But with the program set to end on June 30, we may not have the ability to create the housing that will be needed for the additional households we expect to see.

While the oil slowdown and changes in the economic condition of the state have created some uncertainty, we have also seen households that have been able to take advantage of the situation (in the best possible way). We have seen increased homebuyer activity across the state, which is very positive. We know that a rental situation isn’t ideal for every family so if some can get into their own home in an affordable way, our communities will benefit. We are proud of the role we can play in helping those families and communities. There are also some households that need affordable rental options so we are proud of how we can help them too.

Where we go in the future is in our hands and I am hopeful that affordable housing will continue to be part of the conversation.

Federal Affordable Housing Development Resources Allocated

NDHFA-LogoBISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency announced today that five projects will receive federal funds to provide affordable housing for individuals and families with special needs.

“By providing housing for our most vulnerable state residents, we strengthen and stabilize our communities,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. The agency administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and National Housing Trust Fund programs in North Dakota.

Dacotah Ridge LLLP was awarded $321,000 in credit authority through the LIHTC program to support the $3.8 million acquisition and rehabilitation of a 24-unit rental property in Dickinson occupied by elderly and disabled households.

The Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority received $865,169 in credit authority through LIHTC to rehabilitate New Horizon Manor. The $15.88 million project will completely update a 96-unit property occupied by elderly and disabled households.

Through the LIHTC program, Grand Forks Homes Inc. received $776,667 in credit authority and was awarded $772,514 from the HTF for the construction of LaGrave on First, an $8.57 million project that will provide 42 units of permanent supportive housing for households at risk of long-term homelessness.

The Jeremiah Program was awarded $1,052,655 from the HTF for its Jeremiah Program Apartments project in Fargo. The 20-unit development is a $5.51 million project that will provide supportive services for at-risk families headed by single parents.

Commonwealth Development Corporation was awarded $698,822 in credit authority from the LIHTC program and $1,021,024 through the HTF for the adaptive reuse of the former Mandan Junior High School into La Sagrada Familia Apartments, an $8.3 million project that will create 39 rental units for households at risk of homelessness.

LIHTC property owners receive the federal tax credit for 10 years. In return, the projects supported by the program must be affordable for households at or below 60 percent of area median income for at least 15 years.

The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low income households, those earning less than 30 percent of AMI. Financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans with a minimum term of 30 years.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

Bremer Bank Contributes $450,000 to Housing Incentive Fund

Bremer Bank logoBISMARCK, ND – Bremer Bank recently contributed $450,000 to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund, making it possible for the program to fully capitalize months before the year-end deadline. As a result, the HIF program will be able to continue supporting the development of affordable multi-family housing units in the state.

“We are deeply appreciative of Bremer’s commitment to the Housing Incentive Fund,” said Jolene Kline, executive director of North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, the HIF program administrator. “Only through the steadfast support of our program contributors are we able to provide housing that’s affordable for all North Dakotans.”

The HIF program relies on taxpayer contributions and uses those funds to provide low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing. NDHFA had until Dec. 31, 2016, to fully capitalize the program. Because of Bremer’s latest contribution, the program met its goal three months earlier.

This was the company’s third major contribution to the North Dakota HIF in a little more than a year, bringing their total support to $1.95 million in the biennium.

“There’s a continued need for affordable housing in North Dakota and the Housing Incentive Fund plays an essential role in meeting that demand,” said Judd Graham, Bremer Bank’s Fargo Region CEO. “Our contributions to this fund not only support the HIF program mission, but also align with Bremer’s own commitment to giving back to our communities. It is especially meaningful in this case because everyone deserves a place to call home.”

The $40 million in HIF assistance NDHFA allocated this biennium is leveraging $196.4 million in construction costs to create 1,105 new units. More than one-third of the 30 projects supported provide housing for special needs households including disabled, homeless and elderly individuals and families.

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

Bremer Financial Corporation is a privately held $11 billion regional financial services company jointly owned by the Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer employees. Founded in 1943 by Otto Bremer, the company provides a comprehensive range of banking, wealth management, investment, trust and insurance services throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Clients include individuals and families, mid-sized corporations, small businesses, agribusinesses, nonprofits, and public and government entities. For more information visit Bremer.com.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. 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.

Bismarck Welcomes Affordable Senior Apartments

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Officials celebrate the grand opening of Sierra Court in Bismarck, ND. 

BISMARCK, ND – With Bismarck’s senior population on the rise, the affordable new homes at Sierra Court Apartments are a welcome addition to the local housing inventory.

“In areas with high housing demand, it can be very challenging for fixed-income households, especially elderly and disabled households, to find a home they can afford,” said North Dakota Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Jolene Kline at an Open House for the recently completed apartment complex.

All of the apartments at Sierra Court are reserved for income-qualified, elderly households making the development an ideal fit for a community where the population of residents age 65 and older is projected by a recent Statewide Housing Needs Assessment to increase 61.2 percent by 2029. The assessment shows the majority of those households will be lower income.

“Our purpose here was to provide a good housing option for seniors, a quality place to live at a price they can afford. We are proud to team with Hometown Living, and offer our sincere thanks to our partners that helped make this project possible, particularly NDHFA, Boston Capital, Security First Bank of North Dakota, CommunityWorks North Dakota, and Bank of North Dakota,” said Don Sterhan, president of Mountain Plains Equity Group, the project lead.

NDHFA allocated $600,000 to the development from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund and $595,153 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Boston Capital syndicated the tax credits, bringing more than $5 million in equity to the project. The development also received predevelopment funding from CommunityWorks. Security First, in participation with BND, provided the project’s construction and permanent financing. The total project cost was $7.46 million.

buildingexteriorLocated at 2821 Ithica Drive, Sierra Court has 18 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom units for households aged 55 and older. Seven of the units are fully accessible. The apartments rent for $340 to $850 per month plus utilities, depending on the household income and size.  An individual who earns $17,730 or less would qualify to rent a unit for $340.

The building has a reception area with a fireplace, a large community room with kitchen facilities and a seating area, a game room, fitness room, library, media lounge, an elevator with access to all three floors, interior corridors with secured building access, and an on-site office. Twenty single-car garages and ample surface parking are provided for the residents and guests. Unit amenities include Energy Star appliances, carpeting and tile flooring, window coverings, in-unit washer/dryer, and central air. Supportive services for the senior tenants are also offered at the property.

Individuals interested in learning more about Sierra Court can contact Cheryl at Syringa Property Management, (701) 223-2980.  Information is also available online at sierracourtapartments.com.

Formed in 2003, MPEG’s mission is to help support and improve the quality of life in local communities through the financing and development of affordable housing. With a focus primarily on North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming, MPEG has arranged equity capital and participated in the creation of 32 projects, providing 1,120 housing units and representing more than $155 million in development costs.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

NDHFA Seeks Affordable Housing Champions

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is seeking nominations for its 2016 Champion of Affordable Housing Leadership and Housing Production Awards.

“The Champion Awards recognize and celebrate exceptional contributions to North Dakota’s affordable housing industry,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

The Leadership Award honors an individual or entity who has demonstrated outstanding effort in advocating for or providing affordable housing or related services. The impact of those results, and the obstacles overcome to provide the housing or services are considered.

The Housing Production Award recognizes the development, preservation of, or conversion to affordable housing, innovative construction or financing techniques, responses to the unique needs of special populations, or the ability to provide information to the public about affordable housing options. Housing Production Award Nominees must be occupied, placed in service or active during the one-year period prior to Nov. 1, 2016.

Nominations for both categories are open to individuals, organizations, affordable housing programs or developments within the state of North Dakota.

Forms and the selection criteria are available online at www.ndhfa.org. Nominations must be received by Jan. 6, 2017. For more information on the awards, contact NDHFA at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.