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.

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