Essential Service Worker Definition Expanded

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) has expanded the definition of an Essential Service Worker (ESW) living in a Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) supported development. Previously an ESW was defined as an individual employed by a city, county, school district, medical or long-term care facility, the State of North Dakota or other income-qualified workers as determined by the agency who provide an essential public service.

Effective immediately, NDHFA is expanding its ESW definition to include an individual employed by a city, county or tribal government, public school district, the State of North Dakota, the North Dakota National Guard, a medical facility, childcare provider, grocer, farming operation or other employer as determined by the agency that provides an essential public service.


Childcare Provider: a business or organization that primarily provides childcare services. A self-employed individual who provides childcare services within their own residence is not eligible.

Farming Operation: farming, tillage of the soil, dairy farming, ranching, raising of crops, poultry or livestock, and production of such products in an unmanufactured state.

Grocer: a merchant of staple foodstuffs, meats, produce and/or dairy products.

Medical Facility: a facility which primarily provides or delivers health-related goods or services. Examples include: a clinic, hospital, surgical, outpatient, dental care, hospice, long-term care, rehabilitation, pharmacy, medical supplier or other facility as determined by NDHFA .

Tribal Government: any tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any regional or village corporation, that is recognized as eligible for special programs or services provided by the United States Government because of their status as Indian.

If you have any questions about the expanded ESW definitions, contact the Planning and Housing Development Division staff at  or (701) 328-8080.

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