Tag Archives: Homeless

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.

State Housing Agency Secures Counseling Grant

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) has secured a $135,028 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant that will support housing counseling services statewide.

 The funds will be split between four affiliate organizations:

  • Community Action Program Region VII of Bismarck, $23,323
  • Community Action Partnership of Dickinson, $24,323
  • Community Action Opportunities of Minot, $45,647
  • South Eastern North Dakota Community Action Agency of Fargo, $34,985

“These grant recipients offer financial literacy training, provide assistance to renters and homeless persons, and assist households of modest means in becoming and remaining homeowners,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “The support provided helps individuals and families in making informed housing decisions.”

HUD’s housing counseling grants are awarded annually through a competitive process. The organizations that apply must be preapproved by the federal agency and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain the approved status.

National and regional organizations including state housing finance agencies like NDHFA are typically responsible for the distribution of the grant funding to the community-based organizations that provide guidance to low- and moderate-income households seeking to improve their housing situation. The larger entities also help improve the quality of the counseling services and enhance coordination among the providers.

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 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.

Legislative Wrap Up

 

The 63rd Legislative Assembly has wrapped up their work and addressed several issues related to housing. There was a lot of work and stress involved as proposals made their way through the process, but overall the session was a success not only for North Dakota Housing Finance Agency but for affordable housing in general.

The biggest accomplishment was the reauthorization of the Housing Incentive Fund, which will be capitalized with $20 million in tax credits and $15.4 million in a transfer from the state’s general fund. The program, which was first started in 2011, will continue to address affordable rental housing issues in the state and the Legislature added a new priority for essential service workers.

Two bills that made technical correction to Century Code will allow NDHFA some flexibility in financing homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers were also enacted. The measures, HB 1083 and SB 2079, will allow the Agency to access resources to assist even more low- and moderate-income families into affordable and responsible homeownership.

As part of their tax reforms, the Legislature also passed a measure that makes a positive statement that affordable housing is a public purpose and will allow projects owned by nonprofit entities a break on property taxes which will help keep rents lower. Previously affordable housing property tax treatment was checkerboard across the state, but with passage of SB 2338, there is a clear standard that looks favorably on affordable housing projects.

To help address the growing number of homeless individuals in the state, the Legislature provided $2 million to supplement the Emergency Solutions Grant program that provides funds to homeless service providers. They also provided $2.6 million to help address the need for additional child care in the state.

The state is also providing funds to continue to assist Minot in making a full recovery from the 2011 flood. To help ensure that lower-income families that are temporarily housed can stay in their community, $1.5 million was approved to keep occupied FEMA units in service while permanent affordable housing options are built over the next few years.
For a full report on housing legislation, http://www.ndhfa.org/Web_Images/Housing_legislation_web.htm