Tag Archives: affordable

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.

From the Director, August 2017

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

So often in our work, we use the term “affordable housing” and equally as often, we get the question about what that means.

Affordability is traditionally defined as spending no more than 30 percent of your income on housing costs. It is enshrined in nearly all of the programs we deal with and it is the best objective measure that we have available to us. We have to set the standard somewhere and it is easier for policymakers and the public to understand the number of households who are challenged if we can talk about it in consistent terms like “affordable” or “cost burdened.”

In all reality, affordability is very subjective. Each individual, family or household has a unique set of circumstances, income and expenses. Household budget decisions are influenced by many factors and while we like to think of housing costs as first priority, sometimes they have pretty stiff competition. Spending 30 percent on housing costs may be affordable for one household but not another that may have higher child care or healthcare costs. Affordability changes as life goes on as well – what was out of reach at one point in your life may be much more easily attained later. Or, for example, seniors may be able to afford housing costs when they are working, but it is a harder pull when they are living on a fixed income.

What can be confusing in understanding “affordable housing” is that while affordability is achieved at a personal level in any kind of housing, we use the term to talk about publicly-funded projects and programs. We call them affordable housing developments or discuss the importance of affordable housing resources. While there are other terms that have been used to talk about these types of projects – low-income, subsidized, rent-restricted, income-restricted, etc. – I like to use “affordable housing” because it spells out more clearly what we are trying to achieve. The mission of NDHFA is to make housing affordable for all North Dakotans and affordability is the main goal behind all of our programs.

We aren’t in the business of just giving out free money; we expect that if a project is going to take public funds than the public needs to see a benefit for it for the duration that is set out from the beginning. That benefit is affordability. It is the driver behind program rules and regulations and why we continuously monitor compliance of housing projects. We have been charged to be stewards of a precious resource and, while we also strive to be flexible and understanding of changing market conditions, we have to uphold our obligations and expect our housing partners to as well.

It would be incredible if one day we could say everyone can afford their housing costs on their own, but I know there will always be individuals and families in need for a multitude of reasons that are as unique as each of us. NDHFA aims to do what it can and we appreciate your partnership in achieving “affordable housing.”

Bell Makes Second $1 Million Contribution to Fund

FARGO, ND – Bell Bank repeated its support of the state’s Housing Incentive Fund in September, making its second $1 million contribution to the program this biennium.

bb_horz_block_rgb“We are pleased to support the Housing Incentive Fund and help make more affordable housing options available to North Dakotans,” said Michael Solberg, president and CEO of Bell Bank. “Seniors and people with disabilities will be well served by these two projects, and Bell is proud to be a part of this effort.”

Bell’s most recent contribution was split between Homefield 2 Apartments, a Fargo development for individuals age 55 and older; and Prairie Pointe in Gwinner and Sunset Ridge II in Minot, family-friendly projects with accessible units.

“North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is charged with helping our state’s communities in addressing their affordable housing needs,” said Jolene Kline, the agency’s executive director. “We are appreciative of the continued confidence displayed by Bell in our ability to get that job done.”

HIF relies on taxpayer support to provide low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing. Contributors can target their contribution to a specific project or community. Individuals and businesses that make contributions receive a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit. NDHFA administers the program.

Since HIF’s inception in 2011, NDHFA has allocated more than $89.6 million to 78 projects, leveraging over $425 million in construction financing to support the development of 2,450 new apartments statewide. More information on the program is available online or by contacting the agency at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

Headquartered in Fargo, ND, Bell Bank has 20 full-service locations in communities in North Dakota and Minnesota. It is the largest privately owned bank in the region with assets of more than $3.5 billion.

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

Watford City Celebrates Completion of Affordable Housing for Seniors and Workforce

WATFORD CITY, ND – G.A. Haan Development showcased 100 new apartments for McKenzie County seniors and the workforce today. The properties received support from local, state and federal government programs to guarantee affordability.

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Ribbon Cutting for McKenzie Village and Park Apartments in Watford City.

“The alliances forged through the development of McKenzie Village and McKenzie Park are great examples of the public-private partnerships we need for enhancing our healthy, prosperous communities,” said Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley.

 

The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. Wrigley attended the event on the Commission’s behalf.

McKenzie Village, a 40-unit apartment complex for households age 55 and older, received support from the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program that brought $6 million in equity to the $7.53 million project.

A $3.49 million Housing Incentive Fund program allocation supported the development of McKenzie Park. The commitment the $11.65 million project received from the state reserved 35 of the 60 units for Essential Service Workers, lower-wage employees of medical facilities and local and state government agencies.

NDHFA administers both HIF and LIHTC, government programs that provide incentives for the production of affordable rental housing.

“Affordable housing is good for our communities financially,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “The dollars invested through programs like the Housing Incentive Fund and Low Income Housing Tax Credits further economic activity, increase tax revenues, and create and sustain jobs.”

The projects also received local support. McKenzie Village received $500,000 from Watford City’s Roughrider Fund and McKenzie County contributed $3.7 million to McKenzie Park.

“The resources provided by NDHFA coupled with the City’s and the County’s support made it possible to develop quality rental housing for Watford residents,” said Ben Ide, Haan’s director of development.

Both apartment complexes are located in Fox Hills Village, a subdivision that is home to Watford City’s new high school and activity center. McKenzie Village at 118 Foxhills Parkway North is a mix of one- and two-bedroom units that rent for $319 to $857 per month. The two- and three-bedroom units at McKenzie Park, 202 Foxhills Parkway North, rent for $772 to $1091 per month. The rental costs at both properties are determined by household income and size. NLR Property Management LLC is the management company for both properties, 701-989-7931.

Program Brings Affordable Housing to the Heart of the Boom

ARNEGARD, ND – The North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) is bringing affordable rental housing to the heart of the state’s energy boom. Big Mountain Development and the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA), administrator of the state program, celebrated the development of Arrowhead Estates in Arnegard, ND, today.

Bernie Biegler of Big Mountain Development, Jolene Kline of NDHFA, Jon Cameron from Sen. Hoeven’s office, Shirley Meyer from Sen. Heitkamp’s office, McKenzie County Public Schools Superintendent Steven Holen, Kent Pelton of QEP Energy, and Arnegard Mayor Jeff Kindel celebrate the development of Arrowhead Estates in Arnegard, ND. More images from the event are available on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NDHousing

“Our focus initially was to sell homes to families as we believed that to be the greatest need, but the mayor and city council opened our eyes to the many people who simply cannot buy and must rent,” said developer Bernie Biegler. “The nurses and teachers we have visited with inquire about renting before they will even consider relocating to take a job.”

Big Mountain purchased the old city golf course in Arnegard, ND, in 2011 and was preparing the development for single-family housing when they were approached by Virginia Elliot, the former mayor of the community, and asked to provide affordable rental housing for essential service workers – individuals employed in education, medical and law enforcement professions.

“Providing adequate housing for our workforce is one of North Dakota’s greatest challenges,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “With the demand for development resources growing, more local, state and private dollars are needed to address North Dakota’s affordable housing needs.”

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Arrowhead Estates is seven miles west of Watford City, 12 miles from Alexander, and only 25 miles to Williston puts it in one of the most highly sought after areas in Western North Dakota.

Located along Johnson Street and Fourth Avenue, Arrowhead Estates received more than $1 million in development assistance from the state allowing eight of the three-bedroom, two-bath units to be reserved for essential service workers (ESW) – income-qualified households employed in positions deemed essential community services. These units will rent for $713 to $1232 per month. The eight remaining units in the development will rent at market rate.

The placement of the subdivision seven miles west of Watford City, 12 miles from Alexander, and only 25 miles to Williston puts it in one of the most highly sought after areas in Western North Dakota says Biegler. He expects teachers from the McKenzie County School District #1 to be the first occupants of the ESW units.

“McKenzie County Public School District #1 has hired 44 new teachers and administrators over the past two years; it has been a real challenge hiring that number of employees and finding affordable housing to match starting teacher wages,” said Steven Holen, the district’s superintendent. “Without the availability of state-supported housing options, we simply would not be able to recruit or retain quality staff.”

Capitalized by contributions from state taxpayers, HIF provides low-cost financing to developers of affordable multifamily housing. Since the program’s inception in 2011, NDHFA has allocated $49 million to projects statewide, leveraging $240 million in construction financing to support the development of more than 1,500 new rental units.

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

Affordable Housing Project Completed in Mandan

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Officials celebrate the opening of Collins Place in Mandan, ND. More photos from the event are available on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NDHousing.

MANDAN, N.D. – Gov. Jack Dalrymple today joined other officials to celebrate the completion of Collins Place, a new development on Mandan’s historic Main Street that includes 29 state-supported affordable housing units.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission authorized a $1.1 million Housing Incentive Fund allocation to support the housing development. Dalrymple is chairman of the Industrial Commission. Other commission members are Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.

“The state is taking full advantage of its Housing Incentive Fund and is utilizing several other programs to expand the development of affordable housing throughout North Dakota,” Dalrymple said. “In the last three years alone, the state has invested nearly $50 million to support the development of more than 1,500 affordable housing units statewide. Our strategies to increase housing opportunities for modest-income residents are working and we will continue to support this important development as long as there is a need.”

Located at 100 Collins Ave., Collins Place is a four-story building with approximately 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the south side of the ground level. The residential units are accessed through secured entrances on the north end of the building. Parties interested in learning more about the property can contact IMM Apartments at (701) 250-7110.

Nine Collins Place apartments are reserved for households earning 80 percent of area median income (AMI) or less, and 20 units are reserved for households earning 140 percent of AMI or less. An individual earning less than $42,960 (80 percent of AMI) would qualify to rent a one-bedroom unit for $638.

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director, speaks at the grand opening of Collins Place in Mandan, ND.

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director, speaks at the grand opening of Collins Place in Mandan, ND.

“Our mission at the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is to ensure that everyone in the state has access to housing they can afford,” said Jolene Kline, the agency’s executive director. “We are pleased with this partnership and happy that the Industrial Commission provided the funding that helped bring this quality housing to downtown Mandan.”

The city of Mandan secured the project by making the property available for development, selling the land for only $1 per square foot. The Mandan City Commission helped by granting a Renaissance Zone status.

“Available and affordable housing is essential to attracting the workforce we need to fill the nearly 4,400 jobs currently open in the Bismarck-Mandan metro area,” said Mandan Mayor Arlyn Van Beek. “This project is important to attracting more quality workers to sustain and grow our businesses, and it will bring additional life to Main Street.”

Among those who joined Dalrymple in celebrating the project’s completion were Rep. Kevin Cramer, Kevin Ritterman of Dakota Commercial, Jon Strinden of Edgewood Real Estate Investment, Van Beek and Kline.

Capitalized by contributions from state taxpayers, HIF provides low-cost financing to developers of affordable multifamily housing. Since the program’s inception in 2011, NDHFA has allocated $49 million to projects statewide, leveraging $240 million in construction financing to support the development of more than 1,500 new rental units.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing in North Dakota. The Industrial Commission oversees the agency.

Affordable Housing Milestones Will Be Marked in Williston on Tuesday

Renaissance On Main groundbreaking

Images from the Renaissance on Main Groundbreaking are available on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NDHousing.

WILLISTON, N.D. – State and local officials will mark two major housing milestones – the completion of Legacy Living at Central Place and the beginning of Renaissance on Main’s construction – on Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Williston, N.D. The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) provided $10 million in development assistance to the projects to create 59 new affordable rental units in the downtown-area of the rapidly growing community.

“Ensuring that fixed-income households and employees who provide essential community services have access to affordable housing is a top priority for our state,” said the members of the North Dakota Industrial Commission. Governor Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring make up the Commission, overseeing NDHFA and Bank of North Dakota (BND). Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley and Stenehjem are expected to attend the events.

Lutheran Social Services Housing will host a Grand Opening Celebration for Legacy Living, 612 1st Ave West, beginning at 11:30 a.m. with a community luncheon and program exhibition. A program and ribbon cutting will be held at Noon.

At 1:15 p.m. the Renaissance Companies will break ground on the corner of 2nd and Main Street for Renaissance on Main. Refreshments will be served immediately afterwards in the Courtyard of Renaissance Station at 322 Main Street.

“NDHFA is charged with ensuring that there is housing for everyone in our state. We are proud to partner with Lutheran Social Services Housing and the Renaissance Companies to provide Williston with affordable rental units for both its aging population and its workforce,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

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Images from the Legacy Living Grand Opening are available on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NDHousing.

Legacy Living is a rehab of the former Williston Senior High School into 44 affordable housing units for households age 55 and older. An individual that earns $14,220 or less would qualify to rent a one-bedroom unit at the property for $330.

“It’s not every day that we have the opportunity to preserve a historic landmark and help meet an urgent community need for safe, affordable housing,” said Jessica Thomasson, Vice President of Social Enterprise at Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota. “That’s what the Legacy at Central Place project has been able to do and we are looking forward to welcoming the community back into the building to see the results.”

NDHFA allocated $611,026 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to Legacy Living. The credits were purchased and syndicated by Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. bringing $5.4 million in equity to Lutheran Social Services’ project. NDHFA also provided $611,000 through the state’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) and $774,000 through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program to support the $11.4 million redevelopment.

Renaissance on Main will be a multi-use, mixed-income development. The first two levels will be retail and commercial space with parking. The third and fourth floors will be made up of 30 housing units. Fifteen of the units will be reserved for essential service workers – city and county, school district, law enforcement, and medical personnel – renting for $883 to $1,103 per month. The remaining units will rent at market rate.

“It is essential to the growth, prosperity and sustainability of Williston to have a broad spectrum of housing available,” said Nancy J. Kapp, President and CEO of The Renaissance Companies. “We are excited to be a part of the revitalization of the downtown area, and we look forward to working with the community to help achieve its goals by creating not only a retail/office space, but affordable workforce housing and market-rate apartments too.”

NDHFA has committed $3 million from HIF to Renaissance on Main, and BND has committed to a $618,000 interest-rate buydown through it’s Flex PACE program. The estimated cost of developing the residential portion of Renaissance on Main is $10 million.

Affordable Senior Apartment Homes Complete

 

New housing options for seniors celebrated in Williston.  The apartments received development assistance from NDHFA that will enable the units to be rented at an affordable rate.

New housing options for seniors celebrated in Williston. The apartments received development assistance from NDHFA that will enable the units to be rented at an affordable rate.

WILLISTON, ND – Additional affordable housing options for seniors opened in Williston today when G.A. Haan Development hosted an event for Williston Senior Apartments Homes II. The apartments received development assistance from the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) that will enable the units to be rented at an affordable rate for 45 years.

“NDHFA’s mission is to ensure there are housing options for everyone in the community,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “We are pleased to be able to help in this area of high demand where people on fixed incomes may be challenged to find affordable rental housing.”

An individual who earns $14,220 or less would qualify to rent a one-bedroom unit in the new development for $292 per month plus utilities.

“The tenants of Williston Senior are an active and vital part of this growing community,” said Gerald Haan of G.A. Haan Development. “Through this expansion, more individuals can comfortably live in this community they’ve long called home.”

Located at 2618 24th Ave West in Williston, the development consists of 9 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units, all restricted to seniors age 55 and older.

Located at 2618 24th Ave West in Williston, the development consists of 9 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units, all restricted to seniors age 55 and older.

The development was supported by federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) allocated to the project by NDHFA. The agency allocated $413,484 in 2013 bringing $3.39 million in equity to the project. The total cost of constructing Williston Senior Apartment Homes II was $3.9 million.

“LIHTC is an important piece of the puzzle that we hope can continue to help build much-needed housing in our communities,” added Kline. “As North Dakota continues to grow in the coming decades, we will need to maximize our federal resources while leveraging the local, state and private dollars that are needed to bring more affordable housing to fruition.”

Through the LIHTC program, property owners receive an annual tax credit from the federal government for up to 10 years in exchange for keeping the housing units affordable for low-income households.

Located at 2618 24th Ave West in Williston, the development consists of 9 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units, all restricted to seniors age 55 and older. Individuals interested in learning more about the apartments can contact the property manager at (701) 355-6344 or visit the development’s website, www.willistonsenior.com.

Based in Harbor Springs, MI, Williston Senior Apartment Homes II is Haan Development’s fourth affordable housing development in North Dakota. Nokota Ridge, a family-friendly townhome development just north of the Williston Senior complex, and Lincoln Park Townhomes in Dickinson were also developed by Haan.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple 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.

Rebate Helps Renter Become Owner

Tiffany Hanson's plans to personalize her new home are on hold until after her wedding.  One thing that couldn't wait was the dog she promised her son, Alex.

Tiffany Hanson’s plans to personalize her new home are on hold until after her wedding. One thing that couldn’t wait was the dog she promised her son, Alex.

When Tiffany Hanson first moved into Bluestem Townhomes, she never knew her monthly rent check would wind up being so valuable.

The property manager of the Fargo affordable housing development told her about the Rent Rebate for Homeownership program, but at the time that the single mom signed the lease addendum, Hanson was more concerned about having an affordable place for herself and her son, Alex, to live. The possibility of receiving a portion of her rent back later to apply towards a home purchase was a nice idea, but it wasn’t in her immediate plans.

Bluestem Townhomes developer, Beyond Shelter Inc. (BSI), began offering rent rebates with the construction of its first Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) property in 2001. The organization chose to do so because the program aligned with its mission, “Improving lives and creating communities by developing housing for those most in need.”

Rent rebate programs offered at LIHTC properties require a developer to make a commitment to set-aside a portion of tenant rent to be paid to the lender on behalf of any household that moves from the property directly into homeownership.

North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, administrator of the state’s LIHTC program, encourages developers to offer the rebates by scoring these program applicants higher.

Rebated rent is applied to down payment and closing costs. At BSI properties, tenants must have a minimum of two years of continuous tenancy to be eligible. Hanson is one of only seven BSI tenants, all in the Fargo area, to use the program. Lisa Rotvold, a BSI developer, hopes that more people in communities across North Dakota will take advantage of the program.

“By the end of the year, BSI will have more than 400 units eligible for the program including our newest properties in Minot and Dickinson,” said Rotvold.

For the lower income households that live in the nonprofit’s units, saving for a down payment and qualifying for financing can be challenging.

“Because we are a mission driven nonprofit organization, our average tenant’s income is even lower than those households served at for-profit tax credit properties,” said Rotvold. “Ninety percent of our tenants earn 50 percent of Area Media Income or less ($28,850 for a two-person household).”

Saving for a down payment on a new home can be very challenging for these lower income households. Expenses like car loans, medical bills and daycare all put a strain on their monthly budgets, inhibiting the household’s ability to save. They may have issues qualifying for financing because of lower credit scores. And, families that qualify for a mortgage loan may find that the loan is not large enough to afford what the market is offering.

“For households who have been in one of our developments for a few years, maybe gotten a raise at work or a better job and had time to save some money, then homeownership starts to be more attainable,” said Rotvold. “That is exactly what should be happening. Most families start at one place in life and work hard to move upward.

After living at Bluestem Townhomes for eight years, Tiffany Hanson was able to make the move to homeowner with some help from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit development's rent rebate program.

After living at Bluestem Townhomes for eight years, Tiffany Hanson was able to make the move to homeowner with some help from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit development’s rent rebate program.

“We are happy to be able to help these families realize their dream of homeownership, building equity, and owning an asset that will appreciate,” Rotvold added. “When they move on, that affordable rental unit opens up to another family that needs it.”

When they became engaged, Hanson and her fiancé Scott English decided they wanted a home of their own. Hanson worked two jobs, saved money with English, and used equity from her vehicle to make their homeownership dream come true. The rent rebate turned out to be an added bonus.

“After living at Bluestem for eight years, I had forgotten about it,” admitted Hanson. “The property manager reminded me when I called to put in my notice.”

Hanson and English purchased a home in Osgood, just south of Fargo. It has a poured foundation, one of their major criteria, and is in the right location.  “We jumped and got lucky,” said Hanson. “I didn’t want to regret later not trying to buy it.”

They were fortunate to find the house after only searching for two to three months. After their wedding, the couple has plans to personalize the house, landscape the yard and put up a fence. One thing couldn’t wait though – Hanson agreed to let Alex get a dog, something he couldn’t have in their rental unit.

Housing Agency Accepting HIF Applications

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is holding an application round for approximately $900,000 in development assistance available through the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF).

“Affordable housing development is one of North Dakota’s top priorities,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “The Housing Incentive Fund has proven to be a powerful tool in addressing this need in communities statewide.”

The agency will accept applications for development of affordable multi-family housing for essential service workers in energy-impacted communities and low- to moderate-income households throughout North Dakota. Development assistance, in the form of a loan, is limited to 30 percent of the total project costs. Eligible projects that can start construction in 2014 will receive a scoring preference.

The HIF allocation plan is available online at www.ndhousingincentivefund.org. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, September 30, to Planning and Housing Development Division Director Jennifer Henderson at NDHFA, PO Box 1535, Bismarck, ND, 58502-1535. For more information call (800) 292-8621 or email info@ndhfa.org.

HIF was created in 2011 and reauthorized and expanded during the 2013 legislative session. Since its inception, the program has leveraged more than $240 million in construction financing to support the development of 1,500 new rental units in communities across the state.

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