Agency Recognizes Champions of Affordable Housing

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) recognized several lending partners and housing advocates as Champions of Affordable Housing at the 22nd Annual Statewide Housing Conference on Feb. 7.

“With the help of its partners, the Housing Finance Agency is able to make a significant impact in providing affordable housing in our state,” said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who presented the awards on behalf of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

NDHFA’s lender awards are based on participation in the Agency’s homeownership programs and involvement in locally sponsored affordable housing projects and events. In addition to honoring the outstanding lending institutions that produce its loans, the individual loan officer that originated the most NDHFA loans at that lending institution was also recognized.

  •  American Bank Center and Josh Blikre of Bismarck;
  • Capital Credit Union and Aaron Wentz of Bismarck;
  • Cornerstone Bank and Peter Johnson of Fargo;
  • First Mortgage Service, Inc. and Pam Maher of Fargo; and
  • Gate City Bank and Lynn Klein of Bismarck.

Kevin and Cherie Collins of Minot and the Grand Lodge of North Dakota, Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Devils Lake each received Housing Production Awards.

The Collins purchased and refurbished Grayce Manor, a home in Minot that provides affordable housing for young adults in the Transition into Independence Pilot Program. These individuals no longer qualify for children services yet do not meet the criteria for adult services and often lack natural support systems. Grayce Manor currently provides an affordable home for seven program participants.

Grand Lodge of North Dakota, Independent Order of Odd Fellows strives to provide a safe haven for formerly homeless and mentally disabled residents at Prairie Heights Apartments, a 23-unit project located in Devils Lake. Prairie Heights has been beneficial to the residents, providing them with not only safe, quality housing, but a certain pride and independence that can only come from having a place to call home.

Keith Olson of Crosby and Mike and Angela Christianson of Minot were recognized by NDHFA with Leadership Awards.

Keith Olson has been active in the development of several affordable housing projects in Crosby, Kenmare, Ray and Williston. He has worked tirelessly to get these projects off the ground. And, his impressive knowledge of North Dakota resources has been instrumental in the development of affordable housing for teachers, first responders, city employees and retail sector employees.

Mike and Angela Christianson recognized the serious housing shortage for lower-income tenants and partnered with the Transition into Independence Program, offering below-market rate apartments to program participants. The Christiansons’ dedication to helping others was called an asset to the community of Minot.

NDHFA began recognizing its housing partners with the Champion of Affordable Housing Awards in 1995. In addition to recognizing its lending partners and affordable housing advocates, NDHFA honors real estate agents that promote the Agency’s homeownership programs during their association’s annual conference in September. For more information on the awards or other NDHFA programs, contact the Agency at (701) 328-8080, (800) 292-8621, (800)366-6888 (TTY) or

The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple, who serves as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the NDHFA.

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