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.

Federal Affordable Housing Development Resources Available

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is currently accepting applications for two federal affordable housing development programs.

HTFLIHTCAPPS2“Through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and Housing Trust Fund programs, we are able to help address the housing needs of our state’s lowest income residents, ensuring these vulnerable individuals and families have a safe place to call home,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

LIHTCs provide an incentive for the production or rehabilitation of low-income housing. Developers awarded credits sell them to raise equity capital from investors, reducing the debt required to produce, preserve or rehabilitate a property. The reduced costs make it possible for the developer to rent to households earning 60 percent or less than Area Median Income.

The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of housing for extremely low-income households, those earning less than 30 percent of AMI, including homeless families. These program dollars can be used for the production, preservation, rehabilitation and operation of a property. HTF financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans.

Eligible recipients of these program resources include units of local, state and tribal government; local and tribal housing authorities; community action agencies; regional planning councils; nonprofit organizations; and for-profit developers.

The program plans and applications are available online at www.ndhfa.org or by contacting NDHFA at (800) 292-8621. The deadline for submission is Sept. 29, 2017.

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

Fargo-Moorhead Groundbreaking Celebrates Next Step Toward New Home Opening to 20 Families in 2018

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Jeremiah Program broke ground on its new Fargo-Moorhead campus in early June. The new campus, located at 3104 Fiechtner Drive South in Fargo, will provide safe and affordable housing for 20 determined, low-income families, as well as an on-site early childhood education center, classrooms where the mothers can build confidence and life skills, and spaces where they can meet with coaches to support them in achieving a career-track, college education.

“We have worked hard together to get to this day,” said Diane Solinger, Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead Executive Director. “Many of our community board of trustees and supporters have been with us since the very beginning, even through the peaks and valleys. They have given us unwavering commitment, and together we are building a campus to bring this excitement to life.”

Why is this campus and Jeremiah important to Fargo-Moorhead? Currently, more than 2,300 single mothers are living in poverty in the Fargo-Moorhead area, a number that has increased 16 percent over the last six years. The majority of these mothers have children under the age of four with fewer than half of them enrolled in pre-school.

ChartToday a college degree is needed to move a family out of the poverty level.  Mothers without support systems often drop out of college because they are facing too many more obstacles. Jeremiah gives mothers the support system they need to succeed. The college completion rate for a Jeremiah mother is nearly 70 percent. From a recent survey of alumae from the past five years, women reported an average income of $47,609 and a 77 percent decreased reliance on public assistance.

“This vision was born in Fargo seven years ago. It took a long time to bear this child, but what a child it has born” said Michael J. O’Connell, Jeremiah Program Visionary Founder.

There are many community partners involved in making the campus possible:

  • Catholic Health Initiatives
  • North Dakota Housing Finance Agency
  • Scheels
  • Barry Foundation
  • The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Affordable Housing Program
  • Otto Bremer Foundation
  • Roers Foundation
  • Margret A. Cargill Foundation

Although the building won’t be ready for several months, the work toward assisting Fargo-Moorhead families began several years ago with initial empowerment and life skills courses. In May, Jeremiah Fargo- Moorhead graduated mothers from its sixth empowerment training, a prerequisite course for the program. The 12-week course focuses on several concepts including effective conflict management, assertive communication and personal accountability. Once completed, Jeremiah mothers participate in a life-skills class, which emphasizes career development, parenting, personal financial management and health/wellness.

Homeownership Programs Income and Acquisition Limits Updated

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved updated income and acquisition cost limits for the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) homeownership programs. The NDHFA assists state residents, typically first-time buyers, with the purchase of a home by providing low-cost financing and offering down payment and closing cost assistance and homebuyer education.

“Over the past 35 years, the NDHFA has helped more than 41,000 individuals and families successfully achieve homeownership,” said members of the Industrial Commission in a joint statement. “Homeownership is a dream for many families, and by working with our lending partners we are pleased to assist them in reaching that goal.”

The commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the NDHFA.

The maximum income limits for NDHFA’s FirstHome™ and HomeAccess programs were set at $77,600 to $102,925, and North Dakota Roots was set at $108,640 to $135,380. The limits vary depending on household size and the county where a financed home is located.

The FirstHome and HomeAccess acquisition cost limits for Burleigh, Morton, Stark and Williams counties were set at $273,176 for a new or existing single-family home. For all other counties, the limits were set at $253,809. Higher limits were also approved for existing two- to four-unit properties. North Dakota Roots program users must comply with limits set by their loan insurer or guarantor.

A network of private-sector lenders originate loans on the NDHFA’s behalf and sell the loans to the agency when they are closed. The updates are effective for loan reservations dated on or after June 6, 2017.

“We continue to see a favorable marketplace for first-time buyers and expect to serve approximately the same number of households in 2017 as we did the previous year,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

In 2016, the NDHFA assisted 1,087 first-time homebuyers through its FirstHome program. The average borrower’s household income was $56,000 and the average loan amount was $160,400.

Through HomeAccess, special needs households who may have previously owned a home may receive the same purchase assistance as first-time buyers.

Through North Dakota Roots, the NDHFA provides purchase assistance to moderate-income buyers who may have previously owned a home and first-time buyers whose income exceeds FirstHome program limits.

Borrowers receiving purchase assistance from the NDHFA are expected to meet normal credit underwriting standards and must intend to occupy the property as their principal residence. A minimum of a $500 out-of-pocket cash investment is required.

The income limits for the NDHFA’s homeownership programs are based on median income numbers published annually by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mortgage revenue bond regulations allow the agency to use the greater of county or state median income.

Based on Federal Housing Administration loan limits, the NDHFA’s acquisition cost limits are dictated by the Internal Revenue Service. The limits are adjusted to take into account the differences between average and median home prices and do not differentiate between new and existing properties.

The NDHFA is a public financial institution dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. More information on the agency’s homeownership programs is available online, www.ndhfa.org, or by contacting the agency at (800) 292-8621.

Community Land Trust Pilot Program Approved

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved a $3 million pilot program through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) that supports local Community Land Trusts (CLTs) efforts to create more single-family housing for low- to moderate-income households.

Community Land Trusts are non-profit organizations that make homeownership more obtainable by separating the ownership of the land from the cost of the home.

“We are very pleased the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, as state government’s primary financier of affordable housing, is willing to take on this important challenge of making homeownership an option for more North Dakotans,” said members of the Industrial Commission in a joint statement.

The commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the NDHFA.

The NDHFA’s program will provide CLTs with access to a low-cost line of credit. Eligible uses include the acquisition, rehabilitation, demolition and/or new construction of homes on in-fill lots and in higher density neighborhoods for resale to income-qualified households.

In North Dakota, there are currently CLTs in Minot and Grand Forks. Other cities have expressed interest in developing trusts, but they have struggled to get started because they lacked the financial capacity.

“We look forward to reviewing the results of the pilot,” said NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline. “We hope that with the agency’s support, other North Dakota communities will be able to offer individuals and families with limited incomes this homeownership opportunity.”

The NDHFA is a public financial institution dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. More information on the agency’s programs is available online, www.ndhfa.org, or by contacting the agency at (800) 292-8621.

Ribbon Cutting in Mercer County for Workforce Housing

BEULAH, ND, MAY 25, 2017 – A ribbon cutting ceremony for New Energy Apartments, a project bringing affordable workforce housing to Mercer County, will take place Thursday, June 8 at 11am. The property is located at 1400 New Energy Drive.

Lutheran Social Services Housing broke ground for the project in June 2016. Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director was present and commented, “Without affordable housing, it is challenging for a community to recruit and retain workers.” The $3.84 million project received nearly $1.15 million from the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF), a state program administered by NDHFA, that ensures the availability of affordable rental housing.

“Lutheran Social Services is proud to be able to provide affordable housing in the community of Beulah,” said John Phillips, real estate development director for Lutheran Social Services Housing, adding “now that the project is complete we have a mix of tenants enjoying the quality of life everyone desires and is affordable for those that have a need.” Support for the project included The Union Bank, Union State Bank, Bank of North Dakota and NDHFA, Beulah’s Job Development Authority, and the City of Beulah who donated the property.

12 of New Energy’s 24 units are designated for essential service workers (ESW) of the community – employees of the city, county and federal government, school district, medical and care centers. Rents in the building range from $355 to $925, depending on household income and unit size, with the majority of rents at $750. Lutheran Social Services Property Management Group manages the project, (701) 630-5510 or (800) 609-8634.

Lutheran Social Services Housing, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, supports the continued vitality of the state’s smaller communities by providing nonprofit affordable housing and housing related services, with more than 30 rental housing projects currently owned and/or under management.

Lutheran Social Services Housing, Inc. is a nonprofit subsidiary of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota providing affordable housing to rural North Dakota communities.

Dickinson Project Awarded Redevelopment Assistance

HIF Invest in Your CommunityBISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency recently awarded $315,000 through the state’s Housing Incentive Fund to Mountain Plains Equity Group and Affordable Housing Developers Inc. The assistance provided supports the acquisition and rehabilitation of Dacotah Ridge Apartments, a 24-unit rental property in Dickinson, ND, that is occupied primarily by elderly and disabled households.

“Preserving affordable housing options for those who need it most is one of our highest priorities with the Housing Incentive Fund,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “We are pleased that this valuable housing resource will continue to serve North Dakota for years to come.”

Last November, NDHFA awarded $321,000 in federal tax credit authority to Dacotah Ridge through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The equity created through the sale of the credits is the project’s primary funding source. The HIF funds will supplement a financial gap caused by an unexpected decrease in LIHTC credit value before the equity was able to be provided to the project.

“One of the greatest values of the Housing Incentive Fund is the program’s ability to close gaps in the financing of affordable rental housing,” said Kline.

Since HIF’s 2011 inception, almost $89 million has been allocated to 79 projects, leveraging more than $427 million in construction financing to support the development or rehabilitation of more than 2,500 housing units statewide. During the most recent funding round, NDHFA received five applications for the $1.2 million in HIF assistance that was available due to the cancellation of previous commitments.

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

From the Director, April 2017

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

The time we are in right now requires difficult decisions and I don’t envy our legislators one bit on the work they had to accomplish over the past four months.

The Legislative Session is over and now we will continue our work to help all North Dakotans have an affordable place to call home. While we had a few issues pop up, this was a relatively quiet session for NDHFA.

We are a special fund agency that doesn’t affect the state’s general fund, but we too were asked to help find efficiencies. We trimmed our budget where we could, but also faced the prospect of not having the flexibility needed to respond to the homeownership needs of the state when two of our staff positions were cut. Thanks to the work of our advocates and legislative champions, those positions were restored and we feel confident that, as our mortgage portfolio grows, we will be able to provide the superior customer service our partners and homeowners expect.

With the Housing Incentive Fund, we have both good news and bad news. The good news is that the expiration date of the program was removed so now we don’t have to come back for reauthorization every legislative session. Also the projects that still are under development won’t lose their funds if they can’t draw them by the end of the biennium.

Unfortunately though, the Legislature didn’t have the funds available to supply anything new for HIF. I know this comes as a disappointment because of the affordable housing challenges our communities continue to face, but we can be heartened that HIF is still in our tool box and we certainly hope that it can be used again in the future to help our communities grow and prosper.

I want to express my deep appreciation to all of our partners who helped talk about NDHFA and the work we do during the Legislative Session. I know there were many who called or wrote their local legislators and several of the industry organizations were diligent in reaching out on our behalf. I hope that illustrates that we aren’t creating top-down government, but instead NDHFA is a partner to our communities big and small across North Dakota.