Category Archives: General Agency News

COVID-19 Emergency Rent Bridge

During this challenging and uncertain time, it’s more important than ever to have sustainable housing. To help individuals and families who are experiencing a loss of income due to COVID-19, the state of North Dakota has created an Emergency Rent Bridge.

To qualify, renters must be experiencing an economic hardship that is COVID-related, have a lease and limited savings and other resources, and be income qualified. A month-to-month lease is acceptable.

To determine eligibility, renters complete a survey that provides qualified households with a preliminary approval via email. The renter shares this email with their housing provider to indicate that they have applied for rental assistance. To actually receive the assistance, the renter is required to verify their income and available resources. The Rent Bridge staff reviews the application and, if they qualify, the renter receives an Emergency Rent Bridge Confirmation ID Number to facilitate payment.

Before a housing provider receives the payment, they must create a vendor account in ND’s Office of Management and Budget Supplier Registry. The account is used to validate the rent due for each renter who applies for assistance. Only one vendor account is needed unless a housing provider manages multiple properties that each have a different bank account.

To learn more about the Rent Bridge, visit the program’s website, The site outlines the processes for both renters and housing providers, includes a FAQs document, flyers that can be shared with renters who are struggling to pay the rent, and the income and rent limits.

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.

Opening Doors Monthly Check-In Protocol Updated

In response to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is recommending Opening Doors Program Care Coordinators follow their organization’s guidelines in regard to in-home visits until further notice.

“We expect that you will continue communicating with your clients and complete monthly reports,” said Planning and Housing Development Division Director Jennifer Henderson. “If your visit is via an alternative arrangement such as phone or teleconference, please note that on the report.”

The Opening Doors program provides households with a rental barrier access to housing. Participating Care Coordinators are required to check-in with the households supported by the program on a monthly basis.

Questions should be directed to the Planning and Housing Development Division at (800) 292-8621 or

From the Interim Executive Director, March 2020

While North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) doors are still open to the public, we are adhering to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ND Dept. of Health.

For the safety of our staff, our housing partners and customers, the agency is limiting visitor interactions and encouraging you to call or email us before coming to our office. Some of our staff members are working remotely. The staff members who are here have taken on additional duties to support the remote workers and are only available for brief visits. If the agency is required to close our doors to the public, we will notify you through as many channels as possible – email, web, social media, newsletter, etc.

Events we had planned for this spring have been canceled or accommodations are being made.

Our Multifamily Housing Forum is called-off and won’t be rescheduled for later this year. We’ll move some of the topics to next year’s event, planned for April 15, 2021, at the Ramkota in Bismarck and try to schedule webinars or conference calls for the topics that can’t wait.

We are trying to reschedule the Uniform Physical Conditions Standards training that was scheduled to take place in conjunction with the forum. We’ll provide details when that is accomplished.

The agency is offering an online or phone option for our Housing Trust Fund and Low Income Housing Tax Credit Public Hearings scheduled to take place on March 26th. Written comments are still being accepted as well.

Our rental compliance staff has postponed physical inspections until further notice. File reviews and compliance reporting continues. If you have questions about compliance activity, please contact the staff via email.

Finally, we are concerned about our tenants and borrowers. Many North Dakota households are faced with financial hardships because of virus related closures. We are reminding the individuals and families who rely on NDHFA for a safe place to call home and households beyond our jurisdiction to talk to their landlord or mortgage servicer first if they will have a difficult time making rent and loan payments.

Inspections Postponed; File Reviews and Reporting Continues


North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in North Dakota. In response to concerns related to the virus, the agency is implementing the following protocol for inspections and monitoring of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Housing Trust Fund, Housing Incentive Fund, Neighborhood Stabilization Program, FDIC Affordable Housing Program, Rural Rehab Loan Program, Rural Housing Investment Incentive Pilot Program and Law Enforcement Pilot Program properties.

Affordability/Compliance Period Physical Inspections and File Monitoring

  • Physical inspections will be postponed until further notice.
  • Tenant file review will continue to be conducted electronically using secure upload options provided in review requests.

Annual Owner Certification/Annual Desk Review Requests

  • There will be no interruption in reviewing 2019 Annual Owner Certifications and Annual Rental Compliance Reporting.

NDHFA staff are accessible at this time. Email communication via our general account,, or directly to staff is the most effective method to reach us with questions or concerns.

HUD has published a guide,, for Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher Program and Native American Programs and the Office of Multifamily Housing. Even if your program is not specifically related to the programs listed, the general information is valuable to any affordable housing project.

We encourage you to work with your tenants to communicate processes of ensuring health and safety and any policies you are implementing during this time.

Online/Phone Options for LIHTC and HTF Hearings

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) will hold Public Hearings for the 2021 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program Qualified Allocation Plan and the 2020 National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Allocation Plan on March 26, 2020.

The LIHTC hearing will begin at 10 a.m. and the HTF hearing at 11 a.m., both CT. The hearings will be held in the boardroom at NDHFA’s office, 2624 Vermont Ave., Bismarck, ND.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public gathering guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we encourage attendees to join the meeting online from your personal computer, tablet or smartphone.

Online Access:

Dial-in Access: 1-877-568-4106, Access Code: 434-537-269 #

Persons who are unable to attend the hearings may still submit written comments to or NDHFA, PO Box 1535, Bismarck, ND 58502-1535, by 5:00 p.m. on March 25, 2020.

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

Multifamily Forum and UPCS Training Canceled

FacebookGraphicCANCELLEDNorth Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) has cancelled the Uniform Physical Conditions Standards training and Multifamily Housing Forum scheduled for April 15-16, 2020 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, ND.

The events were cancelled in response to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) stating that for the next eight weeks, large events including conferences should be canceled or postponed to lessen the spread of the disease.

Individuals who were registered for the events will receive a full refund of registration fees. Because of the number of refunds being processed by the registration service NDHFA contracts with for events, there may be some delays in processing.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact NDHFA’s communications staff at

For information on COVID-19 from the CDC,

Additional information about the virus is available from the N.D. Dept. of Health,

UPCS Training and Multifamily Forum Continuing as Scheduled

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is aware of and is monitoring developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Be advised that NDHFA’s Uniform Physical Conditions Standards training on April 15th and the Multifamily Forum on April 16th will continue as scheduled at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, ND.

Currently, there are no identified cases of infection in North Dakota. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update registered attendees should the virus impact these events in any way.

We understand that some registered participants may be facing travel restrictions and need to cancel their registration. You may cancel your registration on the event website,, without penalty through April 1, 2020. If you need to cancel after that date, please contact NDHFA’s communications staff at for assistance.

For information on COVID-19 from the World Health Organization (WHO),

Additional information about the virus is available from the N.D. Dept. of Health,

State Offers Affordable Housing Development Assistance

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

“The multifamily housing development programs administered by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency addresses the housing needs of our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA interim executive director.

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

“To be considered eligible, applicants must demonstrate project readiness – final ownership and organizational documents, site control, unconditional and appropriate zoning, and project financing commitments,” said Jennifer Henderson, NDHFA planning and housing development division director. “Projects with missing threshold requirements will not be evaluated.”

Applicants will be evaluated under the 2019 Housing Incentive Fund Allocation Plan. The application deadline is 5 p.m., CT, on March 31, 2020.

More information on the HIF program and the other financial and technical assistance provided by NDHFA is available online at or by contacting the planning and housing development division at (800) 292-8621 or

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 the chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

From the Interim Executive Director, February 2020

It seems like 2020 is the year of saying ‘yes’ at North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) to new ways of doing business, new programs and community engagement. Some of the initiatives I will be referencing were in motion last year and are now being successfully implemented.

We divided our annual housing conference into two forums to strengthen the focus on homeownership and multifamily housing topics. We hosted the Homeownership Forum in West Fargo and Bismarck earlier this week, and I would like to thank all the attendees, sponsors and exhibitors that made the event a success. I’d also like to congratulate the Champions of Affordable Housing Award winners we recognized, your dedication to the residents of North Dakota is remarkable.

The Multifamily Housing Forum is April 16 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. It will be preceded by a full-day training session on Uniform Physical Condition Standards. The forum is dedicated to networking and education-based sessions for property managers, multifamily housing developers and service providers. Register by April 1st and save, and if your organization is interested in exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, there are two more days until the Feb. 28 deadline.

The North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People approached NDHFA about administering the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care program (CoC) last year. The CoC promotes a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness by supporting the nonprofits that house homeless individuals and families. When NDHFA assumes the administrative role next month, the agency expands its mission to serve vulnerable populations by strengthening ties to the service providers who are the first-in-line defense for emergency housing.

In January, NDHFA’s staff met with Governor Burgum and his administration during a strategic review session to discuss housing needs and trends for the state. The session fostered a deeper understanding of the Administration’s statewide initiatives with an emphasis on improving access to housing. The agency is in the process of developing a five-year strategic plan, building upon the planning sessions that have been taking place over the past several months.

And while we are busy with the projects and workload of 2020, we need to celebrate the success of the past year, which you can read about in our 2019 Annual Report.