Category Archives: Press Releases

Homeownership Program Eligibility Limits Increased

NDHFA-LogoBISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved an increase in the eligibility limits for state programs that assist with home purchases. Administered by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA), the programs help North Dakotans, typically first-time buyers, buy a home by providing low-cost financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance.

“With these increases we hope that more North Dakotans will be able to purchase a home,” said commission members in a joint statement. “The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has already helped 42,000 individuals and families become homeowners by providing more than $3 billion in financing since 1982.” The Industrial Commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees NDHFA.

The maximum income limits for NDHFA’s FirstHome™ and HomeAccess programs were set at $83,900 to $98,900, and North Dakota Roots was set at $117,460 to $138,460. The limits vary depending on household size and the county in which a financed home is located.

The FirstHome and HomeAccess acquisition cost limits were set at $271,164 to $303,882 for a single-family home. Higher limits were approved for existing two- to four-unit properties. These limits also vary based on the county in which a property is located. North Dakota Roots program users must comply with limits set by their loan insurer or guarantor.

“During the first quarter of 2018 North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s FirstHome program saw a 47 percent increase in program activity over the same period in 2017,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “If the trend continues, 2018 will be busy for our Homeownership Division.”

In 2017, NDHFA assisted 1,076 first-time homebuyers through its FirstHome program. The average borrower’s household income was $57,573 and the average loan amount was $162,643.

The income and acquisition cost limits for NDHFA’s programs are regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Internal Revenue Service respectively. The updated limits are effective for loan reservations dated on or after May 1, 2018.

Through HomeAccess, special needs households who may have previously owned a home may receive the same purchase assistance as first-time buyers. NDHFA’s North Dakota Roots program provides purchase assistance to moderate-income buyers who may have previously owned a home and first-time buyers whose income exceeds the FirstHome program limits.

Private-sector lenders originate the mortgage loans on NDHFA’s behalf and sell them to the agency when the loans are closed. Parties interested in learning more about the programs will find information online at http://www.ndhfa.org.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans.

Agency Recognizes Affordable Housing Champions

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

“The Champions 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 North Dakotans.” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

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

Four financial institutions and a loan officer from each business were recognized for originating loans on behalf of NDHFA. Blackridge Bank and Doug Wentz of Bismarck; Bremer Bank and Renae Meisch of Wahpeton; Choice Financial and Lindsey Matter of Bismarck; and First Community Credit Union and Tanya Nenow of Jamestown received awards.

NDHFA recognized four real estate agents, Aruna Hagen of Fargo, Kristy Sagaser of Jamestown, and Paige Danner and ‘Stasia Mitzel of Bismarck, for the assistance they provided to NDHFA’s borrowers.

The agency also administers rental programs and supports the development of multifamily housing for low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. Sister Rebecca Metzger of Grand Forks received NDHFA’s Property Management Award for her compassionate management of St. Anne’s Guest Home, a subsidized housing project that is home to 30 elderly households of limited means.

The agency’s Housing Production Award was presented to the Grand Forks Community Land Trust, which creates and maintains a permanent supply of affordably priced, owner-occupied and rental housing, and assists households that purchase homes to become successful owners.

Leadership Award winners were Gerald Eid and Lynn Fundingsland. Gerald, a Fargo-area builder who served as the chair of NDHFA’s advisory board for 15 years, was instrumental in the development of the agency’s down payment and closing cost assistance programs. Lynn is the outgoing executive director of the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority who employed innovative approaches to provide for and to improve the housing conditions of the lowest-income households in the community and throughout the region.

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.

Grants Support Safe Housing for Lower-Income Households

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission voted today to allocate $200,000 through Helping Housing Across North Dakota (Helping HAND), a state program that aids organizations that provide home construction and rehab assistance to lower-income North Dakotans. The program is administered by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA).

“The grants provided through Helping HAND program typically support weatherization and rehabilitation programs ensuring North Dakotans of modest means have a safe and comfortable place to call home,” said commission members in a joint statement. The Industrial Commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees NDHFA.

The 2018 funds will be distributed as follows:

  • Southeastern ND Community Action Agency, Fargo, $56,700.
  • Red River Valley Community Action, Grand Forks, $30,595.
  • Community Action Partnership, Minot, $24,389.
  • Community Action Partnership, Dickinson/Williston, $19,851.
  • Dakota Prairie Community Action Agency, Devils Lake, $21,924.
  • Community Action Region VI, Jamestown, $15,442.
  • Trenton Indian Service Area, Trenton, $7,333.
  • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, $7,333.
  • Spirit Lake Tribal Housing, Fort Totten, $7,333.
  • Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity, Fargo, $4,000.
  • Red River Valley Habitat for Humanity, Grand Forks, $3,500.
  • Rebuilding Together, Fargo, $800.
  • Rebuilding Together, Mandan, $800.

Grant recipients must provide a local match of 25 percent to access the program dollars.

“Through Helping HAND, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has allocated over $5 million of agency earnings to non-profit organizations assisting more than 5,000 lower-income households statewide,” said Jolene Kline, the agency’s executive director.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. More information on the agency and the affordable housing programs it administers is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Ver Helst Joins Housing Finance Agency

KaylaVerHelstBISMARCK – Kayla Ver Helst has joined the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency as director of public affairs.

“I am pleased to welcome Kayla to our management team. I believe she will be a great advocate for our work in communicating North Dakota’s affordable housing needs,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

Ver Helst will oversee the agency’s communications, marketing and public affairs program including strategies for positioning the agency in the housing industry and accomplishing federal and state policy goals.

“I look forward to working with the state’s elected officials, community leaders and the agency’s housing partners to ensure all North Dakotans have a safe and affordable place to call home,” Ver Helst said.

Prior to coming to the NDHFA, Ver Helst worked in business operations at the North Dakota Department of Transportation. She replaces Max Wetz, who resigned his position to return to his home state of South Dakota.

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.

Housing Policy and Professional Development Are Event Focus

BISMARCK, ND – Housing North Dakota will bring housing-industry representatives and community leaders together for policy discussions and professional development.

Hosted annually by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, the Statewide Housing Conference is April 25-26, 2018, at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck, ND.

“To adequately and successfully address North Dakota’s housing needs, it’s essential to have an understanding of current policies and available resources,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “Conference attendees hear from recognized experts, develop new skills, learn about available resources and make real face-to-face connections.”

April 25th presentations focus on housing policy including Gov. Doug Burgum discussing housing’s role within the Main Street Initiative and an Economic Forecast from Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D., a nationally acclaimed economist. Other presentations are Livable Communities, attracting and retaining investment, people and opportunity; Opportunity360, a comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing community challenges; and Housing and Health, a discussion of why housing should be a care consideration followed by best practices.

Concurrent sessions on April 26th offer professional development opportunities for lending and real estate professionals, multifamily 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 and the National Association of Homebuilders’ Housing Credit Certified Professional recertifications.

Register online at www.ndhfa.org by Apr. 13, 2018, to receive the lowest rates. The fee for both the Policy Day and Training Day is $160; Policy Day or Training Day is $85; and the Champion Awards Lunch only is $17.50.

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.

Spring Lender Training Planned

In March, mortgage lenders have an opportunity to learn how North Dakota Housing Finance Agency helps first-time buyers, special needs families and other households who may have previously owned property to purchase a home.

“The training includes an introduction to FirstHome™, an agency program that assists more than a 1,000 North Dakotans annually in buying for the first time,” said NDHFA Homeownership Division Director Dave Flohr. “We will also discuss the assistance available to single parents, households with elderly or disabled family members, honorably discharged veterans, and households whose income exceeds our standard program limits.”

The first training of the spring will be held March 20 at the Expressway Suites, 4303 17th Ave S, Fargo. The registration deadline is March 16 and class size is limited to 30.

A second training will be held March 22 at the Quality Inn, 1030 E Interstate Ave, Bismarck. The registration deadline for the Bismarck course is March 19.

Training is open to new and pending participating lender staff, and current participating lender staff who are interested in a refresher. Both sessions begin at 9:00 a.m., CT, and will run to approximately 1:00 p.m. There are no registration fees, however pre-registration is required.

If needed, sleeping rooms, $83.70 for a single, are available at the Quality Inn, (701) 223-1911, or Expressway Inn, (701) 239-4303. Ask for the “ND Housing” block to receive the discounted rate.

Questions regarding NDHFA’s homeownership programs or the lender training can be directed to Flohr, (800) 292-8621 or 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. More information about the agency is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Counseling Grant Supports Improvement of Housing Situations

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency secured a $59,318 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development housing counseling grant this summer.

“The grant dollars support programs that help individuals and families make informed housing decisions,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

The funds were primarily split between two affiliate organizations – Community Action Opportunities of Minot and South Eastern North Dakota Community Action Agency of Fargo. Each received $29,107. The Community Action Partnership (Dickinson and Williston areas) program received $1,102.

The recipients of the grant offer financial literacy training, provide assistance to renters and homeless persons, and assist households of modest means in becoming and remaining homeowners.

HUD’s housing counseling grants are awarded annually through a competitive process. The organizations that apply must be preapproved by the federal agency and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain the approved status.

National and regional organizations including state housing finance agencies like NDHFA are typically responsible for the distribution of the grant funding to the community-based organizations that provide guidance to low- and moderate-income households seeking to improve their housing situation. The larger entities also help improve the quality of the counseling services and enhance coordination among the providers.

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. More information about NDHFA is available online at www.ndhfa.org or by calling (800) 292-8621.