Category Archives: Press Releases

Supportive Senior Housing Projects Awarded Development Assistance

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) has awarded development assistance to four affordable housing projects that will offer supportive services to help their senior tenants age in place.

NDHFA awarded a total of $3.39 million in federal tax credit authority to the projects through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program which will generate more than $30 million in equity. The Agency also awarded $2.8 million from the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and $1.6 million from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF).

“North Dakota’s seniors are one of the most housing insecure and cost-burdened sectors of our population,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA’s executive director. “Focusing our development resources on supportive housing for these households allows seniors of limited means to live safely and comfortably, and reduces the burden placed on the state if the other alternative is a costly long-term care facility.”

About the Projects

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Century Cottages, a CommunityWorks North Dakota project, will be located on Century Ave. in Bismarck, ND.

Century Cottages, a CommunityWorks North Dakota project that will be located on Century Ave. in Bismarck, ND received $788,000 in LIHTCs. NDHFA also made a commitment of $300,000 from the HTF and $408,047 through HIF. The project will create 35 new one- and two-bedroom apartments. Twenty percent of the units will be reserved for households that require assistance to live independently. The cost of construction is estimated to be $8.5 million.

The Schuett Companies was awarded $899,000 in LIHTCs to support acquisition and renovation of Patterson Place Apartments in downtown Bismarck, ND. The project will also receive $2.5 million from the HTF. The 117-unit property will continue to be operated as housing for seniors and individuals with disabilities. In addition to supportive services, 24/7 staffing will be added. The total project cost is more than $17.2 million.

The Housing Authority of Cass County was awarded $850,000 in LIHTCs to develop The Monterey, the first phase of a planned replacement of its ND1-1 and ND1-2 properties, commonly known as the West Fargo low-rise. The project was also awarded $600,000 through HIF. The Monterey will consist of 42 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments. Twenty percent of the units will be reserved for households that require assistance to live independently. Separate financing will support the development of office space in the property for the housing authority. The total cost of construction is estimated to be $11 million.

Phase two of the Housing Authority of Cass County’s planned replacement of the ND1-1 and ND1-2 properties, known as The Bridges, was also awarded $850,000 in LIHTCs and $600,000 through HIF. The Bridges will consist of 36 one-bedroom and three two-bedroom units. Twenty percent of its units will also be reserved for households that require assistance to live independently. The estimated cost of construction is $9.6 million.

About the Programs
LIHTC provides an indirect federal subsidy used to finance the construction or rehabilitation of rental housing for lower-income households. The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of housing for extremely low-income households including homeless families. HIF strengthens communities by supporting the development or preservation of rental housing for low- to moderate-income households.

“North Dakota Housing Finance Agency received 25 total applications for development assistance from 12 different projects during our fall 2018 funding rounds,” said Kline. “All of our programs received requests for more than twice the funding available. The greatest demand was for Housing Trust Fund assistance, more than four times what was available.”

The development programs administered by NDHFA have allocation plans that are reviewed annually to ensure that the projects that receive financial awards address the state’s greatest housing needs. The application process for each program is competitive with the top scoring projects receiving the awards. Each applicant must provide evidence that there is a need for the type of housing proposed, that the community supports the development, and that construction costs are reasonable. The period of affordability for the projects receiving federal funds is 30 years, HIF’s period of affordability is 15 years.

Increase in Homeownership Program Income Limits Approved

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved an increase of the income limits for North Dakota Roots, a program that provides affordable financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance to households who may have previously owned a home and first-time buyers whose income exceeds the limits of North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) FirstHome™ program.

Roots small“Almost 43,000 households have successfully achieved homeownership with North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s assistance,” said members of the Industrial Commission in a joint statement. “By increasing the North Dakota Roots program’s income limits, we hope more households will be able to attain that goal and establish themselves and their families in North Dakota.”

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

With the Commission’s approval, the Roots program’s maximum income limits were set at 200 percent of area median income, $167,800 to $193,200. The limits vary depending on the county in which the financed home is located.

“During discussions with community leaders and our lending partners, they cited the difficulty of finding a secondary market for loans that don’t qualify for conventional financing,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA’s executive director. “By offering this financing option, NDHFA can partner more effectively with our lenders. Without a market for these loans, community growth is hindered particularly in rural areas.”

NDHFA’s homeownership program funding is provided by secondary-market capital. A network of private-sector lenders originate loans on behalf of the agency and sell the loans to NDHFA when they are closed. All of the servicing is retained in state.

Through Roots, NDHFA provides financing to approximately 230 households annually. So far this year, the average program user’s household income is $84,170 and the average loan is $212,300.

Known primarily for the financing it offers first-time homebuyers, NDHFA expanded its capacity to new and returning North Dakotans in 2002 dubbing the program “North Dakota Roots.” In 2014, citing the struggle of households whose income exceeds FirstHome’s program limits to afford the down payment requirements associated with conventional financing, the agency expanded Roots to any qualifying household earning up to 140 percent of the area median income. The maximum Roots loan amount must comply with the current Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan amount or the limits of the applicable loan insurer/guarantor. All of NDHFA’s borrowers are expected to meet normal credit underwriting standards and occupy the property as their principal residence.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. More information on the agency’s homeownership programs is available online at http://www.ndhfa.org.

Opening Doors for Households With Rental Barrier

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is helping households with poor credit, a history of evictions or a criminal record to secure housing. The state agency launched a landlord risk mitigation fund in September to encourage property owners to lease apartments to individuals and families who may not meet their standard rental criteria.

The Opening Doors program helps Medicaid-eligible households secure housing by providing landlords with coverage beyond the security deposit if a participant causes excessive damage to a rental unit or a loss of revenue.

“Offering property owners a financial guarantee mitigates a portion of the risk in renting to these hard-to-house populations,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

One of the key provisions of the program is care coordination provided by a social service agency.

“Households must apply through a care coordinator who agrees to provide services for the duration of the program coverage,” said Kline. “This includes helping to find and secure housing, monitoring their tenancy, and mediating any disputes with the landlord.”
Opening Doors program participants are covered for up to 18 months. During that time, the landlord may receive compensation for damage or lost rent claim coverage for up to $2,000.

“After the program participants’ coverage ends, they may continue to rent from the same landlord or move on to another housing unit,” said Kline. “By establishing a positive rental history, we make them better candidates for their next housing unit.”

The Opening Doors program is a joint effort between NDHFA and the Medical Services Division of the North Dakota Department of Human Services. NDHFA is the administrator. NDDHS approved funding the program with the state’s rebalancing funds. The program will cover up to 67 households. NDHFA will consider alternative funding sources as needed to support additional households.

“As part of a broader focus to connect housing and supportive services, the Opening Doors Program will be an efficient and effective tool to help Medicaid-eligible people with housing barriers be successful tenants and community members,” said Kline. “Establishing these individuals in a stable setting with planned care coordination will produce cost savings for individuals, the community and state.”

A Statewide and Regional Supportive Housing Collaborative identified a landlord risk mitigation fund as a solution to reduce housing barriers for individuals exiting institutional settings or to prevent institutionalization.

Opening Doors was modeled after a landlord risk mitigation program established by the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless Person in 2014 that encourages property owners to rent to people who are experiencing homelessness.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across the state. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

Development Assistance Available for Affordable Housing

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is currently accepting applications for approximately $1.6 million through the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF), a state program that strengthens communities by supporting the development of affordable rental housing for essential service workers and low- to moderate-income households.

“Priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate the need for the housing and the support of the community in which the project will be located,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

Established during the 2011 Legislative Session, HIF was reauthorized and funding was approved in 2013 and 2015. A sunset clause was removed during the 2017 session, however no new funding was provided. The assistance that is currently available is due to the cancellation of previous funding commitments.

NDHFA is also accepting applications for two federal programs – Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and National Housing Trust Fund (HTF). LIHTC offers an incentive for the production or rehabilitation of rental housing for low-income individuals and families. The HTF’s purpose is to increase and preserve the supply of housing for extremely low-income households.

Applications for the programs must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2018. More information is available online at http://www.ndhfa.org or by contacting the agency’s planning and housing development division staff at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

NDHFA is a public financial institution 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.

Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals Underway

BISMARCK, ND – Construction has begun on Edwinton Place, a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) project that will offer stable housing and support services for 40 individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness in the Bismarck area. The approach that will be utilized is called ‘Housing First’.

Edwinton Place

Edwinton Place, a Permanent Supportive Housing project, will provide stable housing and support services for 40 individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness in the Bismarck area.

“Through the Housing First model, some of the barriers to rental housing entry are set aside. The individual is provided with a permanent, stable home and then support services are offered to address the underlying causes of their homelessness,” said Dwight Barden, Burleigh County Housing Authority (BCHA) executive director.

Chronically homeless individuals typically have mental health or substance abuse issues, a chronic health condition, or a history of physical or sexual abuse. The need to provide supportive housing for these individuals was first discussed in 2008 in Bismarck-Mandan’s 10-Year Plan to End Homeless. Since that time, local service providers have been planning and educating key stakeholders to gain support for a PSH development. As an experienced provider of affordable housing, BCHA agreed to take the lead and be the owner and manager of the property.

BCHA has partnered with Beyond Shelter Inc. (BSI), a nonprofit developer of affordable housing to develop Edwinton Place. “Beyond Shelter focuses on providing housing for the lowest income households in a community, the people whose needs are typically overlooked,” said BSI CEO Dan Madler. “The underlying causes of chronic homeless not only negatively affects an individual’s ability to be successful in traditional rental housing, these issues are also very costly to the community.”

Chronically homeless individuals are frequent users of emergency services which can cost a community $30,000 to $50,000 per year per individual. Providing these individuals with immediate access to housing is estimated to save a community up to 40 percent of the total cost of experiencing chronic homelessness.

“North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has prioritized the use of our development resources, focusing on permanent supportive housing to help address chronic homelessness in North Dakota,” said Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) executive director.

Funding commitments provided by NDHFA will cover the majority of Edwinton Place’s development costs. The state agency awarded federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will provide the project with $7.2 million in equity, and awarded $1,026,147 from the National Housing Trust Fund, $500,000 from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund and $460,000 from the Neighborhood Stabilization III Program. The total project cost is $10.3 million.

Edwinton Place also received support from the City of Bismarck, in agreement with Burleigh County and the Bismarck Public School District, a 20-year Payment in Lieu of Taxes for the property valued at more than $2 million. The North Dakota Department of Commerce committed $730,000 through the Neighborhood Stabilization I Program for land acquisition. Through Bank of North Dakota, the Federal Home Loan Bank awarded $750,000 from the Affordable Housing Program, and the Otto Bremer Trust committed $62,000 to help cover pre-development costs. The project’s construction financing will be provided by Gate City Bank.

Edwinton Place is being built on an infill lot just south of Bismarck Expressway and is within an Opportunity Zone designated by Gov. Burgum earlier this year. The four-story building will have a controlled entrance with 24/7 staffing. On the first floor, offices, meeting rooms and an exam room will allow for services to be provided at the site. The upper floors will be made up of 40 one-bedroom/one-bath apartments. Eight of the units will be fully accessible for persons with a physical disability. All of the units will be furnished. The developers anticipate that the property will be complete by next fall.

The tenants will be selected in partnership with the local Coordinated Entry System which is operated by agencies that provide service to people who are homeless. Project-Based Housing Choice Vouchers will be provided by BCHA to assure the affordability of the units for the extremely low-income tenants.

Minot’s First NDR-Supported Housing Project Complete

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Local and state officials celebrate the completion of Minot’s first National Disaster Resilience-supported affordable housing rehabilitation project.

MINOT, ND – Park South Apartments, the City of Minot’s first affordable housing rehabilitation project supported by the National Disaster Resilience (NDR) Program, is complete. Local and state officials celebrated the project’s completion with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The apartment building is one of the first projects in the country completed between the recipients of the 13 NDR grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program.

“We’re proud that Minot continues to be an example for how the NDR Program is expected to help communities,” said Mayor Shaun Sipma. “This project was a great first step for what we want to do as a city with HUD using NDR, and it’s a great illustration of what all three levels of government working together can accomplish with the private sector.”

The City of Minot received a $74.3 million HUD grant through the NDR program, $21 million is designated for affordable multifamily housing. It awarded $1.97 million to Essential Living Inc., the non-profit owner of Park South, to renovate the building’s 35 existing apartments and add five new units. Seventy-five percent of Park South’s apartments are now reserved for income-qualified households, four of these units are fully handicapped accessible.

“The project completion on a timely basis fulfills a critical commitment the city made in 2016 when HUD approved the NDR Action Plan,” said Disaster Resilience Program Manager John Zakian. “Park South’s completion is a milestone for the City of Minot in carrying out the goal of fulfilling unmet housing needs in the community.”

Essential Living also received $2.23 million from North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) through the Housing Incentive Fund. The state’s program supports the development and preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing targeted to low- to moderate-income households and essential service workers.

“The assistance North Dakota Housing Finance Agency provided through the Housing Incentive Fund extended the affordability of these homes, and ensures that the individuals and families that live at Park South have a place to live that is both safe and desirable,” said NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline.

The project received additional support through the North Dakota Department of Commerce, $714,950 from the Governor’s Community Development Block Grant Discretionary Funds for the stormwater management work that benefitted the whole neighborhood; and an interest-rate buy down from Bank of North Dakota’s FlexPACE program. The total project cost exceeded $7.4 million.

“Minot was extremely fortunate to receive the NDR Funds, and we are pleased that this project really demonstrates how the private sector can work with the public sector to provide affordable housing for our community,” said Essential Living President Bruce Walker. “Working with the City of Minot, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, and our other project partners has been a very positive experience.”

Located at 234 14th Ave SE, Park South was constructed in 1948 and originally served as a convent. It was converted into apartments in the 1980s with the last major renovation taking place at that time. Essential Living updated all of the existing units’ kitchens and bathrooms, plumbing, electrical, hardware and flooring.

The building’s common areas were also renovated, asbestos was abated, the original coal burning boiler was replaced, and a new entrance, air conditioning and an elevator were added.

Many of Park South’s tenants lived at the property prior to the renovation. The developer phased construction so that those households would not be displaced during the renovation. Currently, 22 of the building’s 40 apartments are rented. Individuals who would like to learn more about Park South can contact the property manager, 1st Minot Management, at (701) 839-7505. Information is also available online, http://www.essentiallivingminot.com.

Essential Living plans to construct affordable patio homes on the five acres that adjoins Park South. If they are able to secure the financing needed, Walker anticipates starting that project next year.

The City of Minot is focused on providing essential services to North Central North Dakota. The City’s National Disaster Resilience Program is an initiative to help the community recover and grow more resilient for the future. The program is possible with the help of $74 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and over $1 million in community-leverage funds.

Essential Living is a non-profit entity focused on creating affordable and sustainable housing opportunities in Ward County. Our goal is to provide affordable housing options that can help improve the quality of life for individuals and families in the community.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum, as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency.

Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals is Complete

GRAND FORKS, ND – Ten years after the need was first identified in the City of Grand Forks’ plan to end long-term homelessness, local and state officials celebrated the successful completion of LaGrave on First. The Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) project will house 42 individuals who experienced chronic homelessness. The approach employed at the property is known as ‘Housing First’ where tenants are rapidly housed and then offered services to address the issues that are the cause of their homelessness.

“LaGrave on First is unique in that it pairs permanent, affordable housing and supportive services in the same building,” said Terry Hanson, Grand Forks Housing Authority (GFHA) executive director. “By having services on-site, we are able to immediately address the physical and mental health, substance abuse, education or job training needs of these individuals.”

Grand Forks Homes Inc. (GFHI), the property owner, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. GFHA is the developer and will manage the property. The housing authority will leverage project-based Housing Choice Vouchers to ensure affordability for the extremely low-income households that will reside at LaGrave on First.

GFHA partnered with Beyond Shelter Inc. to develop LaGrave on First. They patterned it after Cooper House, which opened in 2010 in Fargo, N.D., and was the state’s first PSH project for individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness. Through the Region IV Supportive Housing Collaborative, local service providers advocated for the development of a similar property in Grand Forks.

The City of Grand Forks donated the land on which LaGrave on First was constructed, a former city park, and $335,000 in HOME funds. The project is named in honor of Royce LaGrave, the city’s community development and housing authority executive director from 1966-83. LaGrave was known for his resourcefulness and ability to bring about change.

Ninety percent of LaGrave on First’s development costs were covered by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA). The state agency awarded federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to the project that were syndicated by U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation providing almost $7 million in equity. NDHFA also awarded $772,514 from the National Housing Trust Fund. The total project cost is $8.76 million.

“NDHFA prioritized the use of our limited development resources to address the state’s need for community-based permanent supportive housing to end chronic homelessness,” said Jolene Kline, the agency’s executive director. “While it’s easy for us to talk about what is needed, it’s much harder to achieve success especially when developing housing for individuals with complex needs. These project partners truly need to be commended for the housing and level of services they put together.”

Additional project financing was provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, $500,000 from its Affordable Housing Program; a $150,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust; and the Turtle Mountain Housing Authority contributed $10,000.

Altru, Community Options, Northeast Human Service Center, Prairie Harvest Mental Health, Success Unlimited, and Valley Community Health Centers have agreed to provide supportive and medical services at the site.

A four-story building, LaGrave on First is located at 500 1st Avenue South. Administrative offices, an exam room, exercise room, computer room, commercial kitchen and dining room, lounge space, and a laundry room are on the first floor. The 42 one-bedroom/bath apartments are on the upper floors.

Because most of LaGrave on First’s tenants are expected to arrive with minimal personal items, GFHI and GFHA have been working with area churches to outfit the apartments with the necessities needed for daily living – dinnerware, towels, bedding and personal care items.

“Community members can help us make a positive impact in the lives of LaGrave on First’s tenants by supporting our Adopt-a-Unit program,” said Emily Contreras, executive administrator at GFHA. “Contributions can be made via a GoFundMe account, https://www.gofundme.com/lagraveonfirst, or by dropping off donations at the GFHA’s office, 1405 1st Ave N.”

The most recent count of the homeless population put the number of chronically homeless individuals in the Grand Forks area at 62. Due to their instability, such individuals are frequent users of emergency services which can cost the community $30,000 to $50,000 per year per individual. Providing immediate access to housing is expected to save the local community up to 40 percent of the total cost of these individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

GFHA expects to begin moving tenants into the property this month.

Grand Forks Homes, Inc. is a local non-profit formed in 1971 for the purpose of developing and owning affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families in and around Grand Forks, N.D. Members of the board of directors are from eight local churches and a tenant of the properties, all administrative functions are performed by its property manager Grand Forks Housing Authority.

Grand Forks Housing Authority is dedicated to providing safe, decent, affordable housing to the residents of Grand Forks County through federal housing choice vouchers and project-based rental assistance.

A nonprofit developer of affordable housing, Beyond Shelter Inc. has partnered with like-minded organizations to develop 1,037 affordable residential units in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

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