The 64th Legislative Assembly is done and bottom line is the Housing Incentive Fund will be back in action for the 2015-17 biennium.
There was a lot of discussion and negotiation on HIF during the final weeks of the session but ultimately the Legislature reauthorized the program, provided $30 million in tax credits and $5 million in cash from earnings of the Bank of North Dakota with another $5 million if the bank reaches $130 million in profits for 2015. If this benchmark is achieved by BND, the second $5 million will be available for award in 2016 and will be restricted to use in communities of under 12,500 people as stipulated in the legislation.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work of a lot of our partners and champions. Many people from different sectors of the housing industry came forward to testify, call and email lawmakers and provide information about the housing market in North Dakota. Thank you to each one of you for your tremendous efforts. I want to also take this opportunity to thank all the legislators who worked hard in committees and in the halls and ultimately voted to support reauthorization of the program. All of this was invaluable in getting HIF approved again.
The Housing Incentive Fund has been very successful in creating new housing units for those who need it the most and we are excited to get the program moving again. We are now accepting applications for the initial $35 million and the first allocation round is set to close May 29. You may find more information on the website at www.ndhousingincentivefund.org.
We can’t start accepting contributions into the fund in exchange for dollar-for-dollar tax credits until July 1. We hope to again have a great amount of success in capitalizing the fund quickly so that projects can begin construction. We will be looking for every opportunity to talk about HIF and the good work it does for the people of North Dakota. If you have an event where you’d like to hear about HIF, please feel free to contact us and we would be glad to attend if possible.
Thank you again to everyone who supported the Housing Incentive Fund and played such a vital role in keeping this important program going. We all know we have many affordable housing needs across North Dakota and it will be rewarding to again be able to help our communities address them.