Tag Archives: affordable housing

The Edge Offers Affordable Downtown Housing for Families

(From L to R): ND House Rep. Austen Schauer, Commissioner Lise Kruse (representing Gov. Doug Burgum), Alaura Williams (representing Sen. John Hoeven), Reid Kemp (representing Sen. Kevin Cramer), Erin Anderson (Commonwealth Development Corp.) and Mayor Tim Mahoney (City of Fargo).

FARGO, ND – The Commonwealth Companies will mark the completion of The Edge Artist Flats, commonly known as “The Edge,” an apartment complex that offers a new affordable housing option in downtown Fargo, at 11:00 a.m. on October 10, 2019. The grand opening includes a short program followed by a ribbon cutting and tours of the property.

“Commonwealth works closely with community leaders and state government agencies to deliver housing that exceeds expectation, adding value to a community and enhancing the lives of the residents served,” said Erin Anderson, a regional vice president of development for the company.

While you don’t have to be an artist to live at The Edge, the name refers to the property’s theme and design element, the tenants will be offered a creative outlet with plans by the developer to use the community room for art classes for children and adults alike. The property’s common areas serve as gallery space, and there is an art workspace that also functions as a multi-purpose room.

The Edge offers a new affordable housing option in downtown Fargo.

The property was developed with support from North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA). The state agency awarded $740,000 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to the project that were syndicated by Redstone Equity Partners providing $6.55 million in equity. NDHFA also provided $1,369,263 through the National Housing Trust Fund.

“We know that communities thrive when the workforce can afford to live and raise their families close to good-paying jobs,” said Dave Flohr, NDHFA’s interim executive director. “That’s why it is important to recognize and celebrate developments like The Edge that provide desirable and obtainable homes.”

The project received strong support from the City of Fargo as well. Community leaders, who have expressed increasing concerns about the affordability of downtown housing, approved the rezoning of the land on which The Edge is located and provided a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) valued at $742,689. The Fargo Moorhead Economic Development provided the required local match, $225,000, for an interest-rate buydown through Bank of North Dakota’s FlexPACE program, valued at $531,070.

The Edge’s permanent financing was provided by Security First Bank of North Dakota. The total cost of developing the 42-unit complex was $8.9 million.

The apartments rent for $456 to $975, depending on household income and size. Nine units are set aside for special needs households, two for disabled individuals and seven for households who have experienced housing instability. The latter will rent at the rate the tenants are able to pay and these tenants will be offered services focused on helping them attain self-sufficiency.

Located at 1321 5th Ave. North, the property amenities include contemporary finishes, underground parking, the community room and multi-purpose room, a fitness room, an elevator, on-site management office and a playground. The apartments have central heat and air, dishwashers, and in-unit washer and dryers. The property’s downtown location offers easy access to entertainment, shopping and restaurants.

Individuals who would like to learn more about the apartments should contact MetroPlains Management at (701) 551-3107. Information is also available online at www.metroplains.com.

Developers Mark Completion of Dacotah Ridge Redevelopment

Dacotah Ridge exterior

Dacotah Ridge is made up of an eight-plex that completed redevelopment in March 2018 and a 16-plex that had to be demolished due to structural issues and reconstructed.

DICKINSON, ND – Affordable Housing Developers Inc. (AHDI) and its development partner, Mountain Plains Equity Group (MPEG), marked the completion of the Dacotah Ridge Apartments redevelopment today by hosting an Open House. AHDI purchased the property from The ARC of Dickinson in 2017. Local, state and federal dollars supported the acquisition and rehab of the rental property that is occupied primarily by elderly and disabled households.

“Many of Dacotah Ridge’s tenants have very limited incomes,” said Andrea Diede, AHDI executive director. “When we discovered that part of the rehab project was going to become a demolition project, we were very concerned about securing the resources needed and relocating the tenants for an extended period. Our priority was to make the buildings safe so that these individuals could continue to call Dacotah Ridge home. Fortunately, we were able to secure additional assistance from the state and we had great local support.”

Dacotah Ridge is made up of an eight-plex that completed redevelopment in March 2018 and a 16-plex that had to be demolished due to structural issues and reconstructed. Construction wrapped on the second building in September. The original project estimate was pegged at $4.16 million. The final cost was $6.18 million.

Dacotah Ridge's development partners.

Affordable Housing Developers Inc. and Mountain Plains Equity Group spearheaded the redevelopment of the Dacotah Ridge property.

“Our purpose is to provide a safe, quality place to live that is affordable. We were proud to team with Affordable Housing Developers and offer our sincere thanks to the organizations that helped make this project possible,” said Don Sterhan, MPEG president and CEO.

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) was the project’s primary funding source, providing $411,761 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that were syndicated by WNC Inc. bringing $ 3.5 million in equity to the property. The agency also provided $400,000 through the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund.

“By affordably housing our most vulnerable state residents, we strengthen and stabilize our communities,” said Jennifer Henderson, NDHFA planning and housing development division director. “We are pleased to be able to provide the support that will allow this valuable housing resource to continue serving Dickinson for years to come.”

The North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services awarded $1,216,258 in HOME Investment Funds to the project to support construction. Stark Development Corp. provided the local match, $185,874, required to secure a FlexPACE program loan, valued at $531,070, from Bank of North Dakota. Project financing was provided by Security First Bank of North Dakota.

Located at 560 and 580 8th Street SE, Dacotah Ridge’s eight-plex has one studio and seven one-bedroom units, two units are ADA accessible. The apartments in the 16-plex are all two-bedroom, six of these units are accessible.

Tenancy at Dacotah Ridge is restricted to income-qualified households with the property’s monthly rents ranging from $581 to $617. Housing Assistance Payment contracts further reduce rents through Section 8 tenant-based assistance under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Program.

As part of the redevelopment, health and safety issues were mitigated, the buildings were brought up to current code, and elevators were installed. In addition, the apartments were outfitted with energy-efficient appliances, economical heating/cooling units, new bathroom fixtures and window coverings.

Individuals who would like to learn more about the apartments can contact MetroPlains Management at (701) 483-1474. Information is also available online at http://www.metroplains.com.

From the Interim Executive Director, September 2019

Dave

Dave Flohr, NDHFA Interim Executive Director

Over the past three decades, I have been involved in nearly every segment of NDHFA. As the agency has grown in both staff and programs and branched into new divisions, I have focused my attention on homeownership. Now, over the past two months as acting interim director, I have gotten a crash course on urban and rural multifamily housing, financing and the services offered to vulnerable populations.

Five projects North Dakota Housing Finance Agency supported had groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies in the last two months, and at least three more events are scheduled before the end of the year. As we celebrate each project and the affordable housing provided, we continuously hear that there is still isn’t enough to meet each community’s needs.

With the September application deadlines approaching for the 2019 funding rounds for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), National Housing Trust Fund and the state’s Housing Incentive Fund, the competition is extensive and choosing is never easy. For every awardee, there are numerous projects that are just as deserving.

Right now, we have an opportunity to expand the limited resources to develop more affordable housing. There is a bill in Congress – the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019, S. 1703/H.R. 3077 – which, if passed, would greatly benefit small states like North Dakota at a magnitude much more significant than larger states which have other resources at their disposal. If passed, the efficiencies and enhancements contained in the Housing Credit Improvement Act would enable North Dakota to double, and maybe triple, the number of projects produced each year.

And so, I ask everyone to please advocate for affordable housing in your communities and in our state. Voice your support for programs like LIHTC and HUD’s HOME Investment Partnership, and also champion local city and county incentives – without any of which affordable housing development would not be possible. Communicate with our lawmakers, whether they convene in Bismarck, N.D., or in Washington D.C., that having a home that is safe, decent and affordable is a priority in North Dakota. It makes our communities stronger and keeps us growing!

Demand for Affordable Senior Housing Remains Strong

Beyond Shelter to Mark Completion of Second Phase of HomeField Apartments

Bill

NDHFA Housing Development Officer William Hourigan congratulates Beyond Shelter on the successful completion of HomeField 2, “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.”

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.”

RibbonThe 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!