Tag Archives: affordable housing

Demand for Affordable Senior Housing Remains Strong

Beyond Shelter to Mark Completion of Second Phase of HomeField Apartments
FARGO, ND – Beyond Shelter Inc. (BSI) is set to mark the completion of the second phase of HomeField Apartments by hosting a Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon Cutting at the property, 4235 28th Ave S, in Fargo, ND, on Aug. 22, 2019, at 11 a.m. The nonprofit continues to see strong demand for the affordable senior housing it has developed in the community. HomeField 2 is the fifth such project completed over the last six years.

“Providing affordable senior housing is about more than a roof overhead,” said Dan Madler, BSI’s CEO. “We are providing a home where our aging community members live safely with opportunities for social interaction and personal care services that keep them healthier.”

Tenancy at HomeField 2 is restricted to income-qualified households age 55 and older with rents ranging from $422 to $760. Of HomeField 2’s 39 apartments, 33 are one-bedroom with most of the apartments occupied by single individuals. To rent a one-bedroom for $422, an individual’s annual income must be $17,670 or less per year.

Resident-led activities, congregate or home-delivered meals, and supportive services including transportation, case management, homemaker and personal care are all available to the property’s tenants.

MetroPlains Management, HomeField’s property manager, reports that 21 of the new tenants signed a lease without ever entering the building. With the occupancy rate at similar properties that it manages currently at 98 percent, many with waiting lists, MetroPlains expects HomeField 2 to be fully rented by September.

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) allocated $640,984 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to the project. Through syndication by Wells Fargo Affordable Housing CDC, the credits brought $5.77 million in equity to HomeField 2.

“When you combine affordable housing with supportive services, you allow seniors to comfortably age-in-place,” said NDHFA Housing Development Officer William Hourigan. “We appreciate the good work Beyond Shelter has done, and we are also appreciative of our project partners who recognized that seniors living independently is a good investment in their health and well-being.”

The City of Fargo committed $200,000 in HOME funds to the project, approved a Payment in Lieu of Taxes valued at $667,928, and waived the building permit fees. The City considers affordable senior housing to be a critical need for the community, especially housing for extremely low-income seniors.

Support was also provided by North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services which committed $453,000 in HOME funding.

If funding can be secured, BSI hopes to add a third building at the site within the next two years.

Individuals who would like to learn more about apartments can call MetroPlains Management at (701) 232-1887. Information is also available online at www.metroplains.com.

Lenders Invited to Learn About Homeownership Programs

This May, mortgage lenders are invited to learn about the purchase assistance North Dakota Housing Finance Agency provided to more than 1,700 first-time buyers, special needs families, and moderate-income households who needed help purchasing a new home in 2018.

“NDHFA’s lender training offers an introduction to FirstHome™, a program that provides the affordable financing and purchase assistance many households require to become homeowners,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director. “We will also discuss the agency’s homeownership programs geared to single parents, households with elderly or disabled family members, honorably discharged veterans, and North Dakotans whose income exceeds our standard program limits.”

The agency’s first lender training of the spring will be May 8 at the Country Inn & Suites in Bismarck. On May 15, NDHFA will host a second training at the DoubleTree in West Fargo. The registration deadline for the Bismarck training is May 3 and West Fargo is May 10. Both classes are limited to 50 people.

NDHFA offers the training to its new and pending participating lender staff, and current participating lender staff who are interested in a refresher course. Both sessions begin at 9:00 a.m., CDT, and run to approximately 1:00 p.m. There are no registration fees, however pre-registration is required.

Questions regarding NDHFA’s homeownership programs or the lender training can be directed to the agency’s homeownership division staff at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

Public Hearings Scheduled for Development Program Plans

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) will hold Public Hearings for the 2020 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program Qualified Allocation Plan and the 2019 National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Allocation Plan on March 28, 2019.

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.

The LIHTC program provides incentives for the production and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. The HTF program supports the development and preservation of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income households, including homeless individuals and families. The proposed plans are available online at www.ndhfa.org.

The general public may submit either written or oral comments at the hearings. Persons who are unable to attend the hearings may submit written comments to hfainfo@nd.gov or NDHFA, PO Box 1535, Bismarck, ND 58502-1535, by 5:00 p.m. on March 27, 2019.

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 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.

From the Director, January 2019

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

2018 was a great year for North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) and homeowners across the state. We had a record-breaking year, purchasing 1,798 loans with a total value of more than $300 million. Normally, the agency averages about 1,200 loans purchased annually.

While our Homeownership Division was handling an increased workload, our Planning and Development Division was modifying programs to support the changing needs of North Dakota communities and launching a Landlord Mitigation program to assist individuals and families who struggle to find rental housing because of poor credit, a criminal background or a past eviction. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll find more 2018 highlights in our Annual Report.

In December, Governor Burgum announced his recommendation to allocate $20 million to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) from the Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund. NDHFA’s budget bill HB 1014 has been introduced and we have requested the Governor’s recommendation of $20 million for HIF be added to the bill.

Since the introduction of HB 1014, two more bills supporting HIF have been introduced in the Senate. SB 2271 would allocate $40 million from the general fund and SB 2302 creates $10 million in tax credits for HIF. Having three bills pertaining to the program is keeping the Agency and our stakeholders busy. Telling our story to legislators about the personal impact HIF makes in urban and rural communities is critical as they face tough decisions when drafting the state’s budget.

To create awareness about each community’s unique needs, our affordable housing factsheets for each district have been updated. Additionally, we highlighted the impact HIF has made across the state, to our aging population, and to individuals and families needing permanent supportive housing. I ask that you review the information and reach out to your state legislators to ask them to support the state’s only affordable housing financing tool and the flexibility it provides allowing North Dakota communities to address their unique housing needs.

In addition to HIF, there are numerous bills pertaining to the Department of Human Services and Department of Corrections that aim to provide supportive services for the state’s most vulnerable populations. If you want to learn more about this legislation and follow the state’s legislative process, you can do so by visiting the Legislative Assembly website.

We look forward to updating you on HIF legislation in our next newsletter. In the meantime, we hope you’ve saved our Statewide Housing Conference dates, May 20-21. When the event agenda is final, we’ll provide details on the speaker line up. Stay tuned!

Housing Agency a Top FHA Loan Servicer

BISMARCK, ND – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) National Servicing Center has ranked the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) as a Tier 1 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan servicer for FY 2018.

A state agency, NDHFA provides first-time buyers with purchase assistance including loan guarantees that allow low- to moderate-income borrowers with low down payments to achieve homeownership.

“NDHFA’s homeownership programs are not only affordable, all of our loans are serviced locally so that our borrowers are able to speak to a real person if they have a question about their loan,” said Dave Flohr, the agency’s homeownership division director.

The tier ranking system measures FHA servicer compliance with guidelines and intervention requirements, loss mitigation engagement, and reporting. The intention is to protect borrowers and alert HUD to potential problems. A high work-out ratio shows a servicer’s effectiveness in working with delinquent borrowers to keep them out of foreclosure.

“HUD is very focused on timely reporting of delinquency issues with the intention of getting borrowers back on track as soon as possible,” said Flohr.

The loan servicers receive quarterly scores that were averaged to produce the final fiscal year-end score. NDHFA scored 95.77 percent for the year.

Of the 9,000 loans NDHFA currently services, approximately 45 percent are FHA guaranteed.

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. More information about NDHFA is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Counseling Grants Improve Housing Situations

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) has been awarded a $102,345 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing counseling grant for fiscal year 2018.

“Housing counseling grants support programs that educate first-time home buyers, help individuals and families secure affordable rental housing, and offer financial literacy training,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

NDHFA will split the grant dollars between two affiliate organizations – Community Action Opportunities of Minot and South Eastern North Dakota Community Action Agency of Fargo.

NDHFA was one of 17 state housing finance agencies (HFAs) to receive a counseling grant from HUD this year. HFAs typically act as an intermediary for their state, partnering with local organizations to provide assistance to low- to moderate-income households. The HFAs also help improve the quality of the counseling services and enhance coordination among the providers.

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.

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. More information about NDHFA is available online at http://www.ndhfa.org.

Housing Agency Wraps Up Record-Breaking Year

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is wrapping up a record-breaking year. The state agency, known primarily for the affordable financing it offers through its FirstHome™ program, set a production record in 2018 by purchasing 1,798 loans with a total value of more than $300 million.

“If the increased activity is indicative of more young families, both those new to North Dakota and life-long residents, pursuing homeownership, that’s good for all of North Dakota because homeowners are typically more invested in their community than renters,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

NDHFA’s loan production was 134 percent higher in 2018 than the previous year. Activity peaked in May when NDHFA received 246 reservations for $41.5 million in financing. The agency’s staff attributes some of the increased demand to the interest rates it was able to offer this past year.

“A favorable market for the mortgage-revenue bonds that fund our FirstHome program allowed NDHFA to offer financing for most of the year at a rate that was lower than what was available in the conventional marketplace,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA homeownership division director.

“The one-half of one percent or more rate difference results in significant savings on monthly payments.”This past year, two-thirds of FirstHome program users also utilized the down payment and closing cost assistance NDHFA offers. “The assistance allows first-time buyers to enter the market sooner or to retain their savings for household expenses they didn’t have as renters like purchasing a lawn mower or snow blower,” said Flohr.

The purchase price of single-family homes financed through NDHFA’s FirstHome program cannot exceed $271,164 to $303,882, depending on household size and the county in which the property is located. The average FirstHome loan purchased in 2018 was just under $166,000. The program is available to state residents earning up to $98,900 who have not owned a home in the last three years. The average FirstHome borrower’s household income in 2018 was $58,600.

In addition to the FirstHome loans NDHFA purchased, the agency’s production total for the year includes its HomeAccess loans, a program for special needs households who may have previously owned a home, and North Dakota Roots, a program that assists moderate-income buyers who may have previously owned a home and first-time buyers whose income exceeds the FirstHome program limits.

In an average year, NDHFA purchases 1,200 loans. Private-sector lenders originate loans on the agency’s behalf in communities statewide and sell them to NDHFA when the loans close. Currently, 47 financial institutions across the state are partnered with the agency to offer its financing. The greatest overall program use is in Cass and Burleigh/Morton counties.

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’s homeownership programs is available online at www.ndhfa.org.