Tag Archives: Fargo

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.

Demand for Affordable Senior Housing Remains Strong

Beyond Shelter to Mark Completion of Second Phase of HomeField Apartments

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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.

Nonprofit Celebrates 1,000th Affordable Housing Unit

FARGO, ND – A grand opening at HomeField Apartments, a new senior complex in south Fargo, provided an opportunity on Tuesday to not only celebrate the successful completion of a project, it was also an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of Beyond Shelter Inc., a nonprofit developer that has taken on some of North Dakota’s greatest housing challenges.

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FMWF Chamber congratulates Beyond Shelter on the successful completion of HomeField Apartments.

The Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority started BSI in 1999, providing it with a $5,000 operating loan and the support of its staff.  Since that time, BSI has grown into a fully independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a staff of eight. With the opening of HomeField Apartments and a ground breaking on the LaGrave on First project in Grand Forks in September, BSI will have surpassed a milestone 1,000 units of affordable housing developed.

While BSI strives to address the housing needs of all lower income individuals and families, the nonprofit has developed several noteworthy projects across the state. Included are six permanent supportive housing projects for those who have experienced long-term homelessness, and nine projects targeted to lower-wage workers and law enforcement personnel in energy-impacted communities during the height of the energy boom in Western North Dakota.

“Beyond Shelter Inc. was created to dig deeper and develop housing targeted to the lowest income households, the people whose needs are overlooked,” Bev Rohde, a former FHRA board member and a still-serving original BSI board member said of the nonprofit’s formation. “We are excited to celebrate this 1,000 plus unit milestone, but there is more work to do in Fargo and around the state as affordable housing continues to be out of reach for many individuals and families.”

In recent years, BSI has focused its attention on North Dakota’s fastest growing population, elderly households with limited resources. HomeField is the fourth senior project the organization has developed in Fargo in four years. The total cost of developing the 39-unit property was $6.87 million. If funding can be secured, two more buildings will be added at the site over the next two years.

“I am thankful every day that organizations like Beyond Shelter exist, ensuring the most vulnerable members of our communities have a safe place to call home,” said Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency executive director. The state agency finances many of BSI’s North Dakota projects. It awarded $589,153 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits to HomeField, which through syndication by Wells Fargo Affordable Housing CDC, brought $6.18 million in equity to the project.

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More images of HomeField and the celebratory event are available on NDHFA’s Facebook page.

The City of Fargo committed $165,000 in HOME funds and $150,000 in CDBG funding to help buy down the cost of the land on which the property is located. “The City has identified affordable senior housing as a critical need, especially housing for extremely low-income seniors,” said Dan Madler, BSI’s CEO.

HomeField is located at 4245 28th Ave S, next to Anderson Park in South Fargo. All the units are reserved for income-qualified households age 55 and older. There are 33 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom apartments. Depending on household size and income, the units rent for $388 to $696 per month plus utilities. An individual earning $16,530 or less would qualify to rent a one-bedroom apartment for $370.

MetroPlains Management expects the property to be completely leased up by the end of August. Individuals who would like to learn more about affordable housing available in the Fargo area can call the property manager at (701) 232-1887. Information is also available online at www.metroplains.com. 

Grant Allocation Benefits Housing Organizations Statewide

BISMARCK, N.D. – Housing organizations statewide will benefit from a grant allocation authorized today by the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC). North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) received permission to distribute $200,000 through its Helping Housing Across North Dakota (Helping HAND) program.

“In the history of the Helping HAND program, more than $5.7 million in grant funds have been put to work by local service providers to assist over 5,000 lower-income individuals and families across the state,” commission members said in a joint statement. The NDIC, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees NDHFA.

The 2017 funds will be distributed as follows:

Southeast ND Community Action Agency, Fargo, $46,417

Community Action Program Region VII Inc., Bismarck, $33,841

Red River Valley Community Action, Grand Forks, $25,757

Community Action Partnership, Minot, $20,434

Community Action Partnership, Dickinson/Williston, $17,381

Dakota Prairie Community Action Agency, Devils Lake, $17,164

Community Action Region VI, Jamestown, $13,207

Trenton Indian Service Area, Trenton, $7,333

Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, $7,333

Spirit Lake Tribal Housing, Fort Totten, $7,333

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity, Fargo, $3,000

Rebuilding Together, Fargo/Moorhead, $800

The Helping HAND program is funded with agency earnings. A local match of 25 percent is required to access the grants. All of the program dollars must be used for North Dakota projects.

“Helping HAND grants typically support housing weatherization and rehabilitation projects,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “We encourage the grant recipients to use the funds to benefit the largest number of households possible.”

Fargo-Moorhead Groundbreaking Celebrates Next Step Toward New Home Opening to 20 Families in 2018

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Jeremiah Program broke ground on its new Fargo-Moorhead campus in early June. The new campus, located at 3104 Fiechtner Drive South in Fargo, will provide safe and affordable housing for 20 determined, low-income families, as well as an on-site early childhood education center, classrooms where the mothers can build confidence and life skills, and spaces where they can meet with coaches to support them in achieving a career-track, college education.

“We have worked hard together to get to this day,” said Diane Solinger, Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead Executive Director. “Many of our community board of trustees and supporters have been with us since the very beginning, even through the peaks and valleys. They have given us unwavering commitment, and together we are building a campus to bring this excitement to life.”

Why is this campus and Jeremiah important to Fargo-Moorhead? Currently, more than 2,300 single mothers are living in poverty in the Fargo-Moorhead area, a number that has increased 16 percent over the last six years. The majority of these mothers have children under the age of four with fewer than half of them enrolled in pre-school.

ChartToday a college degree is needed to move a family out of the poverty level.  Mothers without support systems often drop out of college because they are facing too many more obstacles. Jeremiah gives mothers the support system they need to succeed. The college completion rate for a Jeremiah mother is nearly 70 percent. From a recent survey of alumae from the past five years, women reported an average income of $47,609 and a 77 percent decreased reliance on public assistance.

“This vision was born in Fargo seven years ago. It took a long time to bear this child, but what a child it has born” said Michael J. O’Connell, Jeremiah Program Visionary Founder.

There are many community partners involved in making the campus possible:

  • Catholic Health Initiatives
  • North Dakota Housing Finance Agency
  • Scheels
  • Barry Foundation
  • The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Affordable Housing Program
  • Otto Bremer Foundation
  • Roers Foundation
  • Margret A. Cargill Foundation

Although the building won’t be ready for several months, the work toward assisting Fargo-Moorhead families began several years ago with initial empowerment and life skills courses. In May, Jeremiah Fargo- Moorhead graduated mothers from its sixth empowerment training, a prerequisite course for the program. The 12-week course focuses on several concepts including effective conflict management, assertive communication and personal accountability. Once completed, Jeremiah mothers participate in a life-skills class, which emphasizes career development, parenting, personal financial management and health/wellness.

Federal Funding Awarded to Grand Forks Homes, Inc. for Housing Project 2017

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has awarded Grand Forks Homes, Inc. $776,667 in credit authority and an additional $772,514 from the Housing Trust Fund for the development of LaGrave on First. The 42-unit, 4-story housing complex will be located at 500 1st Avenue South in downtown, Grand Forks with estimated development costs of $8.5 million.

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is the most important resource for creating affordable housing in the United States today. Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC program gives State and local LIHTC-allocating agencies the equivalent of nearly $8 billion in annual budget authority to issue tax credits for the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing targeted to lower-income households.

The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing Federal, state and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low- and very low-income households, including homeless families. The HTF was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Section 1131. HTF funds may be used for the production or preservation of affordable housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, and/or rehabilitation of non-luxury housing with suitable amenities.

Grand Forks Homes, Inc. will be the owner of LaGrave on First, with Grand Forks Housing Authority and Beyond Shelter, Inc. working together as co-developers of the new building. The housing project will serve individuals experiencing chronic homelessness by providing one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment units and support services on-site. LaGrave on First will utilize evidence-based practices such as Housing First and Permanent Supportive Housing to support a better quality of life for residents in their new home. Units will be made affordable by project-basing Grand Forks Housing Authority vouchers and services will be provided by Valley Community Health Center, Northeast Human Service Center, and other area agencies. Construction is expected to begin early next summer with doors open in the summer of 2018.

Grand Forks Homes, Inc. is a North Dakota 501c3 non-profit corporation formed in 1971 for the purpose of developing and owning affordable housing for low and moderate-income families. Grand Forks Housing Authority serves as the primary provider of affordable housing in Grand Forks County, North Dakota, providing a home for nearly 2,000 families each night through its 1,265 Housing Choice Vouchers and 798 affordable apartment units. Established in 1967, Grand Forks Housing Authority provides affordable housing and programming to encourage self-sufficiency for tenants. Beyond Shelter, Inc. is a Fargo, ND based non-profit developer of affordable housing that has worked in and around the area since 1999 with experience in new construction, acquisition/rehabilitation, and assembling multi-layered financing packages.

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

Jeremiah Program Receives $1.05 Million From National Housing Trust Fund for Fargo-Area Campus

JeremiahJeremiah Program today announced receipt of a $1.05 million award from the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF), administered through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA). The funds will be used to build a 20-apartment campus for low-income single mothers and their children in Fargo, ND.

The purpose of the HTF is to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low income households—those earning less than 30 percent of area median income. Financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans with a minimum term of 30 years.

“This vital funding moves us toward the finish line of necessary capital to construct our building and break ground in 2017,” said Diane Solinger, executive director of Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead. “Our community as a whole will benefit from the affordable housing and supportive services this campus will offer.”

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director, concurred: “By providing housing for our most vulnerable state residents, we strengthen and stabilize our communities.”

The Jeremiah campus in Fargo, to be built on land donated by Catholic Health Initiatives at 801 Page Drive, will provide safe and affordable housing, an on-site early childhood education center, and individualized support for helping women get into and through career-track, college degree programs. Jeremiah serves low-income single mothers with children under the age of five. Currently, more than 2,300 single mothers are living in poverty in the Fargo area, a number that has increased 16 percent over the last six years. The majority of these mothers have children under the age of four.

“Leaders in the Fargo area have worked diligently for several years to bring Jeremiah’s two-generation approach to families who need a hand-up,” said Jeremiah President & CEO Gloria Perez. “This grant makes it possible for us to leverage further support from individuals, local businesses and foundations for the benefit of the determined families we serve.”

About Jeremiah Program
Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the organization has fully operational campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN, with another campus opening in Austin, TX, in early 2017, and pilot programs underway in Boston, MA.

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