Category Archives: General Agency News

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 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.

What’s Right for You?


FirstHome program user Teresa Sayler (right) relied heavily on Gena Syvertson (left) of REMAX Legacy Realty to find the right home and negotiate the terms of the sale.

While many young adults wait until they are married or involved in a long-term relationship before pursuing homeownership, Teresa Sayler knew having her own home was what she wanted.

Sayler moved to Fargo, ND, for college and stayed on after graduation. She lived in apartments for a dozen years, a situation that to her always felt temporary. At 30 years of age, Sayler was ready to be grounded.

Turns out while buying on her own was a little nerve racking, “I had to remind myself to take things one step at a time,” Sayler isn’t alone in following that path. After married couples, the National Association of Realtors ranks single women, age 18 to 34, as the second largest home buying group in the United States making up 15 percent or more of the market each year.

“Single females often are heading out of their own at an earlier age to establish their households,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research and communications. Men purchase on their own half as often.

Taking full advantage of available resources helped Sayler ease her solo purchase anxiety. In addition to taking a homebuyer education class, she talked to a financial advisor and took a class focused on budgeting, paying down debt and building savings. Sayler also visited with family and friends to learn about their experiences. When she was confident that she was really ready, Sayler sat down with a lender.

Clayton Lilleby of First Community Credit Union pre-qualified Sayler for North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s FirstHome™ program and referred her to the person she relied on heavily to find the right home and negotiate the terms of the sale, Gena Syvertson of REMAX Legacy Realty.

A real estate agent for more than a dozen years, Syvertson has a soft spot for first-time buyers. She enjoys educating them, stepping them through the purchase process, and making sure they understand the terms being used. She reminds them to ask questions too so they are comfortable with the decisions they are making.


While Teresa Sayler isn’t afraid of taking on home improvement projects, her real estate agent encouraged her to have a home inspection and include an inspection clause in the purchase agreement so if major repairs were needed, they could be addressed before closing. Doing so gave Sayler peace of mind that her new home would be structurally sound.

“Before looking at any homes,” said Syvertson, “Teresa and I sat down and we talked about home features she really needed versus things she might want to have and what the tradeoffs might be.”

Initially, Sayler wasn’t interested in a twin home, but she knew she wanted an attached garage to better endure North Dakota’s cold winters. A large outdoor space was another priority, so she could have a garden, more privacy, and have friends over to sit around a firepit on summer evenings.

Helping Sayler narrow down her list of must-haves and understand the improvements that could be made after a home was hers really helped. “I only physically looked at about four or five homes before I found one that I made an offer on,” Sayler said.

While Sayler wasn’t afraid of taking on some projects, Syvertson encouraged her to have a home inspection and include an inspection clause in the purchase agreement so if major repairs were needed, they could be addressed before closing. Doing so gave Sayler peace of mind that her new home would be structurally sound.

While Sayler now takes pride in being a homeowner, she’s only talked to a few friends about buying. When the subject comes up, she doesn’t immediately push them into homeownership.

“If they think it’s what they want, I encourage them to educate themselves, to talk to a real estate agent and make sure their finances are in order. Don’t buy a home just because everyone else is. Forget about everything you see on Pinterest, and what your family and friends are saying and doing, is it right for you?”

Housing Finance Agency Hires Schaf

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency recently hired Deanna Schaf of Bismarck, ND.

Deanna1Schaf joined the agency as an administrative assistant. In this position, she provides customer service at the agency’s front desk, and is responsible for processing loan payments and responding to general inquires.

“We are pleased to welcome Deanna to NDHFA. I believe she will be a great asset to our administrative team,” said Jolene Kline, the agency’s executive director.

Schaf replaces Kristi Seilinger, who transferred to the agency’s Homeownership Division.

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.

Affordable Housing Development Assistance Available

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is currently accepting applications for affordable housing development assistance through the state’s Housing Incentive Fund. Approximately $1.2 million is available.

HIF Invest in Your Community“Priority will be given to projects currently under construction, that have a spring construction start date, or that are fully operational,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

HIF supports the development of multifamily housing for essential service workers and low- and moderate-income households. To be considered eligible for the assistance available in the current funding round, applicants must demonstrate the ability to fully expend the awarded funds by June 30, 2017.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. (CST) on March 31.

More information is available online or by contacting NDHFA at (800) 292-8621 or


From the Director, September 2016


Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

It is with great anticipation that we have been looking forward to the release of the Statewide Housing Needs Assessment. That document is a valuable compass for our agency, for our communities, for our housing partners and really for anyone with an interest in where we are headed as a state.

Coming up with projections of housing need is not an easy task. There are so many variables that can change very quickly as we have seen over the past decade. The researchers at North Dakota State University based the projections on the information we know today and what the historical trends show us. They are rooted in the science of demography and follow a path from individuals to society and the economy in general via the abodes which we all choose. They show us how people in North Dakota live and what our possible future could look like.

I say “possible” because despite the scientific basis, the projections are still just a best guess. I like to say they are projections – not necessarily destiny. Whatever the projections may be, they require action. Homes don’t just appear in a community; they have to be built. And for those areas that might not like what the projections show, we have to take action to make positive changes. Whether it is a new company providing more jobs or some cultural shift where people make different choices than they did in the past, our trajectory can be influenced and it is up to all of us to do that.

I didn’t want to rehash all the numbers for you here or set some overarching goal because I want you to read the assessment and look for yourself at what priorities you see emerging in your community. After you do that, I want your input. We will be holding stakeholder forums in each region in a couple of weeks and I hope you take that opportunity to come discuss with us how together we can influence our future. I look forward to seeing you there!

Compliance Elements: Training for MF Housing Programs

complianceelementsregopenNorth Dakota Housing Finance Agency will host a Multi-family Housing Programs Compliance Training at the Comfort Inn in Bismarck, ND, on Oct. 26, 2016.

Managers of properties that received development assistance through NDHFA’s Housing Incentive Fund, Law Enforcement Housing Pilot Program, Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Rural Housing Rehabilitation Program are encouraged to attend.

“The training will provide an opportunity for property managers to learn how to successfully manage the annual compliance monitoring requirements associated with our programs,” said Jennifer Henderson, director of NDHFA’s planning and housing development division.

The one-day training will focus on annual desk reviews including completion of compliance reports, calculating utility allowances and financial reporting, and qualifying tenants and managing their files. Training participates will receive sample forms, participate in case studies, and time will be allotted for Q&A with the agency’s compliance staff.

There are no registration fees for the compliance training, however pre-registration is required. More details on the compliance training will be provide directly to property managers in mid-September.  

FirstHome™ Lender Training Fall Schedule

LenderTrainingLinkImageNorth Dakota Housing Finance Agency will host two FirstHome™ lender training sessions this fall.

“FirstHome lender training is geared to the new staff of our participating lenders, new or pending participating lenders, and current lender staff that want a refresher course,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director.

The training is intended to introduce participating lenders to the Agency’s homeownership programs – FirstHome, HomeAccess and North Dakota Roots, provide a review of different loan types, borrower and property eligibility, and guide lenders through the process of locking a loan with NDHFA.

The training sessions will be held on Oct. 5 at the Expressway Suites, 4303 17th Ave S, Fargo, and Oct. 12 at the Comfort Inn, 1030 E Interstate Ave, Bismarck. Both sessions are scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. and to be completed no later than 1:00 p.m.

There are no registration fees for the lender training, however pre-registration is required. A block of sleeping rooms are reserved at both hotels. If you have questions, contact Dave Flohr or Kim Becker at (800) 292-8621 or