Author Archives: NDHFA

About NDHFA

A self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans, NDHFA offers affordable home financing to low- to moderate-income families, ensures the continued availability of suitable rental housing for households of modest means, and focuses on providing for the housing needs of our state's growing communities.

Hearing Scheduled for Housing Incentive Fund Plan

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) will hold a Public Hearing on June 18, 2019, for the Housing Incentive Fund’s (HIF) proposed 2019 Allocation Plan. The Plan sets forth the procedures and criteria that NDHFA will adhere to as the program administrator.

HIF supports the development of affordable rental housing for low- to moderate-wage workers, the state’s aging population, individuals with disabilities, and persons at-risk of homelessness.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m., CT, in the boardroom at NDHFA’s office, 2624 Vermont Ave., Bismarck, ND. The proposed plan is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

The public may submit either written or oral comments at the hearing. Persons who are unable to attend may submit written comments to hfainfo@nd.gov or NDHFA, PO Box 1535, Bismarck, ND 58502-1535, by 5:00 p.m., CT, on June 17, 2019.

Persons needing accommodation or assistance to attend the hearing should contact NDHFA’s Planning and Housing Development division director at (800) 292-8621, (800) 366-6888 (TTY) or email hfainfo@nd.gov.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

Housing Agency Recognizes Partners with Champion Awards

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency recognized a dozen of its outstanding partners as Champions of Affordable Housing at the Statewide Housing Conference.

“The Champion Awards recognize and celebrate the work of individuals, non-profit organizations, public agencies, and private sector businesses who go above and beyond to provide affordable housing for the people of North Dakota,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

Through NDHFA’s homeownership programs individuals and families, primarily first-time buyers, receive low-cost financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance.

Two real estate agents, Olivia Wellenstein of Dickinson and Paige Danner of Bismarck, and four loan officers, Carissa Martin of Valley City, Tanya Nenow of Jamestown, and Travis Lang and Tanya Pomerleau, both of Bismarck, were recognized for loan production with Homeownership Performance Awards.

Kirkwood Bank & Trust and First International Bank and Trust were recognized with Homeownership Excellence Awards for their best practices and outstanding delivery of NDHFA’s loan programs.

NDHFA also administers rental programs and supports the development of multifamily housing for low-income households. Gordon Johnson of Grand Forks was honored with a Property Management Award of Excellence for his outstanding and compassionate facilities management of Care Co-op Centers, a Section 8/202 project overseen by the agency.

The agency’s Visionary Award, recognition of an exceptional body of work, was presented to Jill Elliott, the deputy director of the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Her knack for innovation and clear vision has led a team of individuals to make lasting change for individuals, families and the community.

Legacy Awards, recognizing a history of advocating for or providing affordable housing and related services, were presented to former Abused Adult Resource Center Executive Director Diane Zainhofsky and Pride Inc. CEO Charles Bisnett, both of Bismarck. In her 39 years at AARC, Zainhofsky was instrumental in developing the organization’s key service – safe shelter. Bisnett has dedicated 22 years of his life to serving individuals with disabilities, the aged, the poor and homeless.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA is dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency. For more information on the awards or the agency’s programs, contact (800) 292-8621 or www.ndhfa.org.

From the Director, May 2019

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

The 66th Legislative Assembly wrapped up last week and we were at the capitol until the very end tracking developments for the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF). On day 76 of the session, an appropriation of $7.5 million was allocated from the general fund for HIF. In addition to funding, the essential service worker requirement was removed and the funding allocation requirement for developing communities was lowered from 25 percent to 15 percent. I want to express my sincere appreciation to all of our partners who talked to legislators about HIF and North Dakota’s ongoing need for affordable housing. I know there were many who called or wrote their local legislators and several industry organizations were diligent in reaching out on our behalf.

If you want more information about the legislative session, join us for in-depth conversations with Lt. Governor Sanford, the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dept. of Human Services, Dept. of Commerce and Rep. Mike Nathe at “Housing North Dakota,” our annual housing conference. Urban and rural housing, Free through Recovery, senior population, recidivism, Operation Prairie Dog, behavioral health, workforce and economic development are just a few of the topics that will be covered. The conference is May 20-21 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. Early-bird pricing ends May 10th, so register today!

In case you have not heard, we are anticipating a visit from U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson who has accepted Senator John Hoeven’s invitation to visit North Dakota and review efforts to combat homelessness in the state. We do not know exactly when Sec. Carson will be in North Dakota, but we look forward to meeting with him and discussing North Dakota’s housing needs.

Finally, the agency is losing one of our housing advocates in Western North Dakota. Advisory Board Member Joan Mainwaring of Williston resigned on April 30th to move back to Bozeman, MT, to be closer to family. Joan was a boots on the ground real estate lending manager with American State Bank and voiced concern about all population segments from millennials to the frail elderly and how they were either going to purchase a home or remain in their home. We wish Joan the best of luck and appreciate her investment in our board.

Save-the-Date: Multifamily Compliance Training in October

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency will offer a Conquering Compliance training course featuring Gary Kirkman of the E&A Team at the Quality Inn in Bismarck, ND, on Oct. 15-17, 2019.

E&A Team’s training series takes an in-depth look at compliance in multifamily housing based on your project’s funding source.  The course includes engaging and interactive sessions utilizing case studies, verification examples, knowledge check exercises and games to ensure you walk away with a thorough understanding of not only how to maintain project compliance, but why it is so important to do so.

Attendees will receive a durable and comprehensive course manual that will serve as a valuable resource guide long after the course ends. At the conclusion of the course, you have the option to take an exam to earn the Housing Credit Certified Professional designation.

Look for additional details about the Conquering Compliance training when registration opens in August. Announcements will also be made in our agency’s e-newsletter and on NDHFA’s Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Direct questions regarding the training to Jennifer Henderson, NDHFA’s planning and housing development division director, at (800) 292-8621, (800) 366-6888 (TTY) or email hfainfo@nd.gov.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

Lenders Invited to Learn About Homeownership Programs

This May, mortgage lenders are invited to learn about the purchase assistance North Dakota Housing Finance Agency provided to more than 1,700 first-time buyers, special needs families, and moderate-income households who needed help purchasing a new home in 2018.

“NDHFA’s lender training offers an introduction to FirstHome™, a program that provides the affordable financing and purchase assistance many households require to become homeowners,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director. “We will also discuss the agency’s homeownership programs geared to single parents, households with elderly or disabled family members, honorably discharged veterans, and North Dakotans whose income exceeds our standard program limits.”

The agency’s first lender training of the spring will be May 8 at the Country Inn & Suites in Bismarck. On May 15, NDHFA will host a second training at the DoubleTree in West Fargo. The registration deadline for the Bismarck training is May 3 and West Fargo is May 10. Both classes are limited to 50 people.

NDHFA offers the training to its new and pending participating lender staff, and current participating lender staff who are interested in a refresher course. Both sessions begin at 9:00 a.m., CDT, and run to approximately 1:00 p.m. There are no registration fees, however pre-registration is required.

Questions regarding NDHFA’s homeownership programs or the lender training can be directed to the agency’s homeownership division staff at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

From the Director, March 2019

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Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

This winter has been challenging, the on-going extreme cold temperatures, snow and wind have tested our mental endurance. However, most of us can be thankful for a warm place to take shelter. Since January, the agency has been working on three legislative bills introduced to secure funding for North Dakota’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF). After crossover last week, we are down to one. We are diligently working with committee members and stakeholders to express why HIF is critical for so many North Dakotans who are in need of housing that is affordable. As of today, $10 million is allocated to the program through Senate Bill 2271.

On Monday, I appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting that the Governor’s original recommendation of $20 million be added back to North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s budget bill, House Bill 1014. The committee is well aware of HIF and just like everyone else, they are waiting until March 11th and 12th to see what the next state budget forecast looks like.

All of the HIF dollars provided to our agency have been obligated. If this legislative body does not support a new funding source for this state-funded program, NDHFA will only have the limited dollars provided by the federal government for rehab and development.

We also requested that the Essential Service Worker requirement be removed from the Century Code to provide more flexibility to address community-driven housing needs.

2018 was a major year for North Dakotans buying homes. The whole year trended higher than forecasted and in the end, NDHFA purchased the most loans in a non-event (i.e., natural disaster) year than ever before. We were surprised to look at our January’s home loan reservations and learn that despite the weather, January 2019 is trending above 2018! The state’s economy and quality of life have been instrumental in attracting people from other parts of the country and world and is helping to retain our youth after they complete high school and college. Providing them with affordable housing opportunities, both purchase and rental, is crucial to keep that trend moving forward.

I invite you to learn more about the future of North Dakota’s housing market by registering for the Statewide Housing Conference. “Housing North Dakota” which will be held May 20-21, 2019, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, ND.

NDHFA’s staff has organized a great line up of dynamic speakers focusing on federal, state and local trends influencing housing, a look at the future through demographics, and most importantly a session on how to use the provided information when planning. All of this is packed into the first day, the conference’s Policy Day. The second day of the event is dedicated to training specifically for our homeownership, property management and multifamily development partners. Lots of continuing education options will be provided too. Don’t miss out on this once a year opportunity to gain valuable insight and network with your peers.

Housing Policy and Professional Development Are Conference Focus

BISMARCK, ND – “Housing North Dakota,” a conference hosted annually by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency brings affordable housing-industry professionals and community leaders together for two days of professional development and policy discussions. The 2019 event is May 20-21 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, ND.

“To successfully address North Dakota’s current affordable housing needs, it’s essential to have an understanding of governing policies and available resources,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “At Housing North Dakota, attendees will hear from recognized experts and can make real face-to-face connections.”

Conference presentations on May 20 will focus on policy and include a discussion with Gov. Doug Burgum of the state’s most pressing housing issues and a future forecast from Demographer Ken Gronbach. At noon, Stockton Williams of the National Council of State Housing Agencies will provide a Washington Briefing. Afternoon plenary sessions include a panel discussion on local legislative accomplishments, recommendations for attracting and retaining a 21st Century Workforce and a strategic planning presentation focused on understanding the impact of market forces.

The May 21st concurrent sessions offer professional development opportunities for lending and real estate professionals, multifamily housing developers, and property owners and managers. NDHFA will present its Champion of Affordable Housing Awards on the second day of the event as well. The awards recognize and honor exceptional affordable housing contributions made in North Dakota.

Continuing education applications have been submitted to the ND Real Estate Commission, ND Real Estate Appraiser Qualifications and Ethics Board, and the ND Board of Social Work Examiners. Credit will be offered upon the approval of the program by these licensing organizations. Conference attendance can also be submitted for the National Development Council’s Housing Development Finance Professional, the National Apartment Association’s Certified Apartment Manager and the National Association of Homebuilders’ Housing Credit Certified Professional recertifications.

Register online at www.ndhfa.org by May 10, 2019, to receive the lowest rates, $170 for the Full Conference (Policy and Training Day) and $90 for Policy Day or Training Day alone. After May 10, 2019, Full Conference is $190 and Policy Day or Training Day alone is $100.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing in North Dakota. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum, as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.