Tag Archives: Grand Forks

Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals is Complete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Construction Begins on Permanent Housing for Chronically Homeless Individuals

GRAND FORKS, ND – Grand Forks Homes Inc. broke ground today on LaGrave on First, a project that will provide affordable housing and supportive services for individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness in the community.

Partners

LaGrave on First development partners, Grand Forks Housing Authority and Beyond Shelter, Inc. More images from the event are posted on NDHFA’s Facebook page.

“To end homelessness, the first step is to provide permanent housing,” said Terry Hanson, Grand Forks Housing Authority executive director. LaGrave will employ an approach called ‘Housing First’ that prioritizes the provision of housing, then provides services for residents to address their individual issues.

The project has strong support from the City of Grand Forks, which first identified the community’s need for Permanent Supportive Housing in its 2008 plan to end long-term homelessness. The city donated the land on which LaGrave will be built, and committed $335,000 in HOME program funds to the development.

LaGrave also has the backing of North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. The state agency provided most of the $8.7 million project’s financing by allocating federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that brought almost $7 million in equity to the project. NDHFA also awarded $772,514 to LaGrave from the National Housing Trust Fund.

Kline
GFHA received $7.7 million from NDHFA to support the development of LaGrave. NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline addresses the ground breaking attendees.

“Our mission is to ensure that all North Dakotans have safe and affordable housing,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. Kline also serves as the chair of the state’s Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Beyond Shelter Inc., a nonprofit developer based in Fargo, ND, is the housing authority’s development partner in the project. “We are pleased to be able to work with the Grand Forks Housing Authority, offering our expertise to address this housing shortfall in the Grand Forks community,” said BSI CEO Dan Madler. LaGrave is BSI’s sixth PSH project.

Additional financial assistance is provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, $500,000 from its Affordable Housing Program; a $150,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust; and the Turtle Mountain Housing Authority contributed $10,000 in exchange for a preference for its tribal members for five of the housing units.

The four-story building will be constructed in downtown Grand Forks on a site that was a city skate park adjacent to the police department. It will have 42 one-bedroom/one-bath apartments with services provided on-site and 24/7 staffing. Nine of the units will be fully accessible. GFHA will manage the property.

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.”

Community Land Trust Pilot Program Approved

BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved a $3 million pilot program through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) that supports local Community Land Trusts (CLTs) efforts to create more single-family housing for low- to moderate-income households.

Community Land Trusts are non-profit organizations that make homeownership more obtainable by separating the ownership of the land from the cost of the home.

“We are very pleased the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, as state government’s primary financier of affordable housing, is willing to take on this important challenge of making homeownership an option for more North Dakotans,” said members of the Industrial Commission in a joint statement.

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

The NDHFA’s program will provide CLTs with access to a low-cost line of credit. Eligible uses include the acquisition, rehabilitation, demolition and/or new construction of homes on in-fill lots and in higher density neighborhoods for resale to income-qualified households.

In North Dakota, there are currently CLTs in Minot and Grand Forks. Other cities have expressed interest in developing trusts, but they have struggled to get started because they lacked the financial capacity.

“We look forward to reviewing the results of the pilot,” said NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline. “We hope that with the agency’s support, other North Dakota communities will be able to offer individuals and families with limited incomes this homeownership opportunity.”

The NDHFA is a public financial institution dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. More information on the agency’s programs is available online, www.ndhfa.org, or by contacting the agency at (800) 292-8621.

Federal Affordable Housing Development Resources Allocated

NDHFA-LogoBISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency announced today that five projects will receive federal funds to provide affordable housing for individuals and families with special needs.

“By providing housing for our most vulnerable state residents, we strengthen and stabilize our communities,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. The agency administers the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and National Housing Trust Fund programs in North Dakota.

Dacotah Ridge LLLP was awarded $321,000 in credit authority through the LIHTC program to support the $3.8 million acquisition and rehabilitation of a 24-unit rental property in Dickinson occupied by elderly and disabled households.

The Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority received $865,169 in credit authority through LIHTC to rehabilitate New Horizon Manor. The $15.88 million project will completely update a 96-unit property occupied by elderly and disabled households.

Through the LIHTC program, Grand Forks Homes Inc. received $776,667 in credit authority and was awarded $772,514 from the HTF for the construction of LaGrave on First, an $8.57 million project that will provide 42 units of permanent supportive housing for households at risk of long-term homelessness.

The Jeremiah Program was awarded $1,052,655 from the HTF for its Jeremiah Program Apartments project in Fargo. The 20-unit development is a $5.51 million project that will provide supportive services for at-risk families headed by single parents.

Commonwealth Development Corporation was awarded $698,822 in credit authority from the LIHTC program and $1,021,024 through the HTF for the adaptive reuse of the former Mandan Junior High School into La Sagrada Familia Apartments, an $8.3 million project that will create 39 rental units for households at risk of homelessness.

LIHTC property owners receive the federal tax credit for 10 years. In return, the projects supported by the program must be affordable for households at or below 60 percent of area median income for at least 15 years.

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 AMI. Financial awards are structured as forgivable zero-interest loans with a minimum term of 30 years.

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 the agency.

Housing Incentive Fund Fully Capitalized

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission announced today that the state’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) has been fully capitalized for the biennium. The program relies on taxpayer support to provide low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing.

HIF Invest in Your Community“We are very pleased with the success of the Housing Incentive Fund,” said members of the Commission in a joint statement. “Through the program, almost 2,500 new housing units have been created statewide since 2011, helping to address the demand brought on by North Dakota’s economic growth.”

The Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA), the program administrator.

The state legislature reauthorized HIF during the 2015 session approving a $10 million transfer to the program from Bank of North Dakota profits and giving NDHFA $30 million in tax credit authority to further capitalize HIF.

“We are thankful for the support of all of our contributors. It is only with their assistance that the Housing Incentive Fund is able to advance North Dakota’s efforts to provide housing that’s affordable for all of our residents,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

NDHFA began accepting contributions on July 1, 2015. The agency had until Dec. 31, 2016, to secure all of the contributions needed. NDHFA declared the program fully capitalized on October 14, 2016.

A total of 340 contributions were received. A little over half of the monetary support, $15.08 million, came from financial institutions. Businesses contributed $12.27 million with the single-largest contribution being made by Tesoro Corporation at $5.3 million. Individual taxpayers contributed $2.66 million – their average being $9,914. All of the contributors received dollar-for-dollar state income tax credits.

The development assistance provided through HIF this biennium will leverage $196.4 million in construction costs to create 1,105 housing units. The projects are located in Beulah, Bismarck, Bowman, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Gwinner, Hazen, Killdeer, Mandan, Minot, New Rockford, Valley City, Watford City and Williston. More than one-third of the 30 projects will provide housing for special needs households including disabled, homeless and elderly individuals and families.

“We look forward to seeing these developments through to completion, providing the housing our communities need for healthy growth and development,” Kline said.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota.

Housing Needs Assessment Regional Forums Planned

StakeholderForumBISMARCK, ND – In conjunction with the release of the 2016 Statewide Housing Needs Assessment, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is hosting regional stakeholder forums across the state to allow community leaders and members of the public to learn more about projected housing needs in their area.

An analysis of the state’s current and future housing needs, the Assessment is available online at www.ndhfa.org. It was conducted by the Center for Social Research and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University.

The regional forums will feature a presentation by Assessment author Dr. Nancy Hodur as well as a discussion of housing needs and priorities specific to each region. Community leaders, business people, housing stakeholders and the general public are invited to provide their input at these meetings.

Regional Stakeholder Forums, all times are local:

  •  Tri-County Region I – Sept. 19 at 10 a.m., Williston Center for Development, Planning and Zoning Conference Room (2nd floor), 113 4th St East, Williston, ND.
  • Roosevelt-Custer Region VIII – Sept. 19 at 3 p.m., Dickinson Public Library, Community Room, 139 West 3rd St, Dickinson, ND.
  • Souris Basin Region II – Sept. 20 at 10 a.m., Minot Public Library, North Room, 516 2nd Ave SW, Minot, ND.
  • North Central Region III – Sept. 20 at 3 p.m., Lake Region State College, Chautauqua Room, 1801 College Dr N, Devils Lake, ND.
  • Red River Region IIII – Sept. 21 at 10 a.m., Grand Forks Herald, Community Room (Alley Entrance), 375 2nd Ave N, Grand Forks, ND.
  • Lake Agassiz Region V – Sept. 21 at 3 p.m., Fargo Public Library Community Room, 102 N 3rd St, Fargo, ND.
  • South Central Region VI – Sept. 22 at 10 a.m., Jamestown/Stutsman County Development Corp., 120 2nd St SE, Jamestown, ND.
  • Lewis & Clark Region VII – Sept. 22 at 3 p.m., State Capitol, Pioneer Room, 600 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND.

Assessment components include a statewide population and housing forecast, regional profiles and detailed tables broken down by various levels of geography including the state as a whole, the eight planning regions, 53 counties, 12 major cities and four Native American Indian Reservations. An additional study component that examines several special topics such as recent trends in housing costs and special populations will be released in September.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

NDSU’s Center for Social Research is an applied social science research unit dedicated to providing a venue through which a wide variety of research activities are facilitated. Hodur is the Center’s director and has over 25 years of professional experience in applied research, public policy and outreach education.