Category Archives: Partner

Mainstream Vouchers Available Through Housing Authorities

Five North Dakota housing authorities received HUD grants for Mainstream Vouchers. Mainstream Vouchers can only assist non-elderly persons with disabilities who are: transitioning out of institutional or other segregated setting; at serious risk of institutionalization; homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless. Human service agencies and other support services are encouraged to help households receiving mainstream vouchers live independently within the community.

Grand Forks Housing Authority, Fargo Housing Authority and Redevelopment, Minot Housing Authority, Great Plains Housing Authority (Stutsman), and Housing Authority of Williston received vouchers and funding to assist with these specific groups. Mainstream vouchers are housing choice vouchers and subject to all federal and administrative policies.

Applicants and agencies need to contact these housing authorities and apply using their respective application. When applying applicants should include a letter requesting a “Mainstream Voucher.” Current waiting list applicant can request their application be changed to a “Mainstream Voucher.” Applicants are subject to the housing authorities screening policies. Eligible clients can transfer mainstream vouchers to other communities. Applicants can apply immediately

For more information contact:
Fargo Housing Authority and Redevelopment at 701.269.6262;
Grand Forks Housing Authority at 701.746.2545;
Great Plains Housing Authority at 701.252.1098;
Housing Authority of Williston at 701.572.2006; or
Minot Housing Authority at 701.852.0485.

YWCA Grace Garden groundbreaking promises critical answer to women and families starting new lives.

 

More photographs from the event are available on NDHFA’s Facebook page.

WEST FARGO, ND – YWCA Cass Clay broke ground today on a new residence, Grace Garden, in West Fargo, ND, that, when it opens in 2019, will reflect a new ideal of how to end homelessness by providing ‘Housing First’.

“Stability is the key to success,” says YWCA CEO Erin Prochnow. “Grace Garden will be a place of safety and sure footing for 30 women and their children seeking a better life. At the residence, families will be able to improve their economic stability and health, breaking the cycles of abuse and poverty for the next generation by being assured of an affordable home and support that’s unique to each family’s goals.”

The new $4.3 million property follows the current mindset in America, one that YWCA Cass Clay has championed for decades.

The Housing First homeless prevention model seeks to get those who are homeless out of crisis and rapidly into safe and affordable housing. From this sure ground, women and children get continuous support and guidance from a YWCA advocate as they work on personal goals for jobs, health, education, parenting and more.

The Grace Garden idea first arose when Pastor Joel Baranko of Lutheran Church of the Cross reached out to the YWCA. Interested developers had offered to purchase the large grassy lot adjacent to the church’s property at 1402 16th St. E. in West Fargo, however the church declined offers that were not consistent with its mission and might have resulted in a less neighborhood-friendly project.

“I began to wonder how God might be calling us to put to good use the property with which we had been entrusted. How can we live and love like Jesus with this land?” recalls Baranko.

The congregation voted to lease the site to YWCA in May of 2018, providing an ideal situation for families served by YWCA because of the close proximity to schools, bus routes, employment and worship opportunities.

Gate City Bank demonstrated their commitment to providing a better way of life by pledging $1.5 million to fund project start-up costs and support services over the first 10 years.

“It’s particularly exciting to fund the staff or human side; the real game-changer to empowering women after they’re safely housed. They get practical life guidance, encouragement and someone to walk alongside them as they courageously work towards life goals they determine. The impact will be great for generations to come,” said Kim Meyer, Gate City Bank Executive Vice President of Retail Banking and Human Resources.

In November 2017, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) awarded development support to the residence through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, $672,500, and National Housing Trust Fund, $325,549, and the state’s Housing Incentive Fund, $500,000.

“Grace Garden is a partnership of caring concern from the nonprofit, business and community sectors,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “We are pleased to be able to provide the public sector support needed to complete this extraordinary project, ensuring women and children transitioning from domestic violence have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

The North Dakota Department of Commerce is supporting the land acquisition for Grace Garden through the Governor’s Community Development Block Grant Discretionary Funds.

“Our goal at Commerce is directly related to family stability and community revitalization,” Adele Sigl with the North Dakota Department of Commerce said. “Everyone deserves a place to call home and this new YWCA Supportive Housing project is a community solution to help eliminate homelessness by providing hope, dignity, and support in the form of permanent supportive housing.”

The residence will also receive rental assistance from the Housing Authority of Cass County. A $2.2 million, 15-year contract provides 30 Housing Choice Vouchers to ensure every apartment will be affordable to the families that will call them home.

Thanks to the financing secured, the YWCA will not need to conduct a capital campaign to build Grace Garden. The YWCA will fundraise and facilitate donation drives for furniture, equipment and supplies to help families and operate the building.

The YWCA first ventured into providing supportive housing in 1989 when donors gifted a Fargo four-plex to the organization. Today, it operates 32 supportive housing units. The addition of Grace Garden will allow the YWCA to far exceed expansion plans that were put in place by the organization’s local governing board in 2015, a five-year goal of 40 supportive apartment spaces by 2020.

In 2017, 314 women and children were eligible for the YWCA’s supportive housing units, but only 60 were able to gain homes through the organization. “Unfortunately, women escaping domestic violence typically do not score high enough on assessments to be rapidly housed,” said Prochnow.

Prospective participants for supportive housing in the Fargo metro area are screened through an assessment tool used universally by shelters in the region. Shelter providers meet weekly to review the risk scores of homeless individuals in the system. Openings in housing programs are outlined and applicant’s risk scores are used to match them with a housing program that fits.

Grace Garden’s residents will come primarily from the YWCA emergency shelter and other referring agencies in the community.

Construction on the two-story building begins this summer and is expected to finish in spring 2019. The property will include one- to four-bedroom apartments and community spaces for classes and gatherings. Main floor offices will be home base for YWCA advocates, nursing and other professional resources coming onsite.

About YWCA Cass Clay
YWCA emergency shelter is where victims of domestic violence come day and night, 365 days a year, to escape crisis lives and mend emotionally, physically and spiritually. They receive crucial basics like food and clothing, and resources for education and employment as they navigate toward independence. A caring YWCA team connects women and children to community resources that will further empower them. Besides operating the largest emergency shelter for women and children in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, YWCA Cass Clay operates safe and affordable, short- and long-term supportive housing for low-income women. YWCA offers a food pantry, racial justice advocacy, and a nationally accredited public childcare center, A Child’s World. For more information, visit www.ywcacassclay.org.

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.

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.

Affordable, Family-Friendly Mandan Townhomes Complete

RibbonMANDAN, ND – Affordable Housing Developers Inc. celebrated the completion of Trails West Townhomes today. The family-friendly development brings a dozen units of affordable rental housing to north Mandan.

“We are very excited to showcase Trails West,” said Andrea Diede, executive director of AHDI, developer and owner of the townhomes. “Interest in the property has been strong and with warmer weather upon us, we anticipate many applications will be coming in over the next couple of weeks.”

To rent one of the townhomes, households must be income qualified. Nine of the units are reserved for tenants earning 80 percent or less than Area Median Income. These two-bedroom units rent for $777 and the three-bedroom units rent for $888.

The three remaining townhomes are reserved for extremely low-income tenants, at or below 30 percent of AMI. A four-person household earning $26,500 or less would be able to rent one of these units for $470.

PartnerSignThe $2.65 million project received support from state and federal government programs to guarantee the affordability. The North Dakota Department of Commerce provided $985,000 through the HOME program and North Dakota Housing Finance Agency allocated $762,000 from the Housing Incentive Fund. AHDI owned the land on which the townhomes were constructed. The balance of the project was financed US Bank.

“The three-bedroom townhomes, in particular, are a welcome addition to the community. Our greatest rental need in Morton County is affordable housing for larger families,” said Rick Horn, executive director of the Morton County Housing Authority.

Located at 4530 30th Ave NW, ten of the Trails West Townhomes are three-bedroom units with one and one-half baths and tuck-under garages. The single-story, end units with attached garages are two-bedroom, one-bath that meet HUD Section 504 accessibility requirements. All of the townhomes are furnished with soft-closing cabinets, kitchen pantries, appliances including dishwashers and in-unit washers/dryers, window coverings, air conditioning and patios.

FrontThe property is within walking distance of Mandan’s newest elementary school, Red Trail. A retail/grocery shopping center, medical services, churches, parks, municipal services and public transportation are all available in the area.

HJL Management Company is the property manager, (701) 663-7494.

A Community Housing Development Organization based in Dickinson, ND, AHDI’s focus is on upgrading or creating rental units in Western North Dakota for elderly and low- to moderate-income individuals and families.

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Federal Funding Awarded to Grand Forks Homes, Inc. for Housing Project 2017

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has awarded Grand Forks Homes, Inc. $776,667 in credit authority and an additional $772,514 from the Housing Trust Fund for the development of LaGrave on First. The 42-unit, 4-story housing complex will be located at 500 1st Avenue South in downtown, Grand Forks with estimated development costs of $8.5 million.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is the most important resource for creating affordable housing in the United States today. Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC program gives State and local LIHTC-allocating agencies the equivalent of nearly $8 billion in annual budget authority to issue tax credits for the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing targeted to lower-income households.

The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing Federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including homeless families. The HTF was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Section 1131. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities.

Grand Forks Homes, Inc. will be the owner of LaGrave on First, with Grand Forks Housing Authority and Beyond Shelter, Inc. working together as co-developers of the new building. The housing project will serve individuals experiencing chronic homelessness by providing one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment units and support services on-site. LaGrave on First will utilize evidence-based practices such as Housing First and Permanent Supportive Housing to support a better quality of life for residents in their new home. Units will be made affordable by project-basing Grand Forks Housing Authority vouchers and services will be provided by Valley Community Health Center, Northeast Human Service Center, and other area agencies. Construction is expected to begin early next summer with doors open in the summer of 2018.

Grand Forks Homes, Inc. is a North Dakota 501c3 non-profit corporation formed in 1971 for the purpose of developing and owning affordable housing for low and moderate-income families. Grand Forks Housing Authority serves as the primary provider of affordable housing in Grand Forks County, North Dakota, providing a home for nearly 2,000 families each night through its 1,265 Housing Choice Vouchers and 798 affordable apartment units. Established in 1967, Grand Forks Housing Authority provides affordable housing and programming to encourage self-sufficiency for tenants. Beyond Shelter, Inc. is a Fargo, ND based non-profit developer of affordable housing that has worked in and around the area since 1999 with experience in new construction, acquisition/rehabilitation, and assembling multi-layered financing packages.

A self-supporting state agency, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

Developer Receives Needed Housing Funds for Renovation of Former Mandan School

 

Microsoft PowerPoint - Mandan Presentation 8-29-16

Mandan’s former junior high

Mandan’s former junior high school property is going to have a new life with a planned $8.3 million in investment to provide 39 units of affordable housing. The Commonwealth Companies of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, plans to move forward with the project thanks in part to funding announced this week by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA).

New Tricks for Old Bricks

“We are thrilled to be a part of this project and grateful to the community and NDHFA for the support,” says Erin Anderson, Commonwealth Companies vice president of development in the midwest region. “We believe affordable housing communities open a door to opportunity for families and individuals, and this project will provide an opportunity to revitalize the neighborhood around the former junior high as well. We are looking forward to working with MetroPlains Management who has provided outstanding affordable housing property management in other properties in Mandan.”

Commonwealth will now be executing an agreement to purchase the property from Mother Teresa Outreach, an affiliate of Spirit of Life Catholic Church, Mandan. The development company plans to begin building renovations in March 2017 and looks to have the project completed and occupied by January 2018.

siteplan

Preliminary site plans

The project will consist of eight three-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units, and three one-bedroom units. Of these, six units will be designated as permanent supportive housing for individuals and families that have experienced homelessness.

Building and site plans include a wellness center, chapel, community rooms and outdoor playground with improved landscaping and green space. The amenities are for use by families living in the building. The newer gymnasium will be demolished to allow for more off-street parking and green space. Support services will be provided by Mother Teresa Outreach.

Federal Funding Gets Project Over Hump

The NDHFA administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) programs in North Dakota. Commonwealth was awarded $698,822 in credit authority through the LIHTC program and $1,021,024 through the HTF for the adaptive reuse of the former school into La Sagrada Familia Apartments.

Under the LIHTC program, property owners receive the federal tax credits for 10 years. The federal tax credits are sold to investors to generate equity for affordable housing projects. Projects supported by the program must be affordable for households at or below 60 percent of area median income for at least 15 years.

The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low income households, those earning less than 30 percent of the area median income. Financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans with a minimum term of 30 years. Twelve of the units in the project fall under this category including the six permanent supportive housing units mentioned earlier.

Local Support Also Needed

To be considered for federal funds, projects needed evidence of local support equal to at least 1 percent of project costs. The Mandan City Commission in September approved a loan of $83,186 toward the project. This serves as a partial community match toward an interest buy-down program available through the Bank of North Dakota. CommunityWorks North Dakota is providing the remainder of the local match, $89,904, also in the form of a loan.

The Mandan City Commission additionally approved payments in lieu of taxes for the project to help it cash flow. The developer will pay local taxing entities a fixed $20,000 annually for the first five years following renovation with a 3 percent escalator in years six through 15. The property currently generates about $3,000 in property taxes.

When voting to approve the assistance, Mayor Tim Helbling cited the need to address the blighted property and “make the neighborhood whole again.”

Property History

Located at 406 4th Avenue NW, the adjoined buildings served throughout their lifetime in various combinations as a senior high, elementary and junior high. Most recently, from September 2008 through December 2009, the newest portion provided educational space for sixth graders as the Great Plains Academy. Mandan Public School District sold the property in August 2012 to GPA, LLC, led by Yegen Development, Grand Forks. Yegen attempted a redevelopment project, but later deemed the project infeasible and donated the property to the Spirit of Life Catholic Church.

The original building was constructed in 1917 with sections added in 1924, 1954, 1966, 1977 and 1990. It is mostly two stories, three stories in one section, and approximately 110,000 square feet. It occupies an entire city block, sitting on approximately 2.07 acres of land. The property is surrounded by single-family homes, both owner- and renter-occupied.