FARGO, ND – A grand opening at HomeField Apartments, a new senior complex in south Fargo, provided an opportunity on Tuesday to not only celebrate the successful completion of a project, it was also an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of Beyond Shelter Inc., a nonprofit developer that has taken on some of North Dakota’s greatest housing challenges.
The Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority started BSI in 1999, providing it with a $5,000 operating loan and the support of its staff. Since that time, BSI has grown into a fully independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a staff of eight. With the opening of HomeField Apartments and a ground breaking on the LaGrave on First project in Grand Forks in September, BSI will have surpassed a milestone 1,000 units of affordable housing developed.
While BSI strives to address the housing needs of all lower income individuals and families, the nonprofit has developed several noteworthy projects across the state. Included are six permanent supportive housing projects for those who have experienced long-term homelessness, and nine projects targeted to lower-wage workers and law enforcement personnel in energy-impacted communities during the height of the energy boom in Western North Dakota.
“Beyond Shelter Inc. was created to dig deeper and develop housing targeted to the lowest income households, the people whose needs are overlooked,” Bev Rohde, a former FHRA board member and a still-serving original BSI board member said of the nonprofit’s formation. “We are excited to celebrate this 1,000 plus unit milestone, but there is more work to do in Fargo and around the state as affordable housing continues to be out of reach for many individuals and families.”
In recent years, BSI has focused its attention on North Dakota’s fastest growing population, elderly households with limited resources. HomeField is the fourth senior project the organization has developed in Fargo in four years. The total cost of developing the 39-unit property was $6.87 million. If funding can be secured, two more buildings will be added at the site over the next two years.
“I am thankful every day that organizations like Beyond Shelter exist, ensuring the most vulnerable members of our communities have a safe place to call home,” said Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency executive director. The state agency finances many of BSI’s North Dakota projects. It awarded $589,153 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to HomeField, which through syndication by Wells Fargo Affordable Housing CDC, brought $6.18 million in equity to the project.
The City of Fargo committed $165,000 in HOME funds and $150,000 in CDBG funding to help buy down the cost of the land on which the property is located. “The City has identified affordable senior housing as a critical need, especially housing for extremely low-income seniors,” said Dan Madler, BSI’s CEO.
HomeField is located at 4245 28th Ave S, next to Anderson Park in South Fargo. All the units are reserved for income-qualified households age 55 and older. There are 33 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments. Depending on household size and income, the units rent for $388 to $696 per month plus utilities. An individual earning $16,530 or less would qualify to rent a one-bedroom apartment for $370.
MetroPlains Management expects the property to be completely leased up by the end of August. Individuals who would like to learn more about affordable housing available in the Fargo area can call the property manager at (701) 232-1887. Information is also available online at www.metroplains.com.