Tag Archives: Housing Incentive Fund

Development Assistance Available for Affordable Housing

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) is currently accepting applications for approximately $1.6 million through the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF), a state program that strengthens communities by supporting the development of affordable rental housing for essential service workers and low- to moderate-income households.

“Priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate the need for the housing and the support of the community in which the project will be located,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

Established during the 2011 Legislative Session, HIF was reauthorized and funding was approved in 2013 and 2015. A sunset clause was removed during the 2017 session, however no new funding was provided. The assistance that is currently available is due to the cancellation of previous funding commitments.

NDHFA is also accepting applications for two federal programs – Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and National Housing Trust Fund (HTF). LIHTC offers an incentive for the production or rehabilitation of rental housing for low-income individuals and families. The HTF’s purpose is to increase and preserve the supply of housing for extremely low-income households.

Applications for the programs must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2018. More information is available online at http://www.ndhfa.org or by contacting the agency’s planning and housing development division staff at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

NDHFA is a public financial institution dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum, as the chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the agency.

Minot’s First NDR-Supported Housing Project Complete

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Local and state officials celebrate the completion of Minot’s first National Disaster Resilience-supported affordable housing rehabilitation project.

MINOT, ND – Park South Apartments, the City of Minot’s first affordable housing rehabilitation project supported by the National Disaster Resilience (NDR) Program, is complete. Local and state officials celebrated the project’s completion with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The apartment building is one of the first projects in the country completed between the recipients of the 13 NDR grants provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program.

“We’re proud that Minot continues to be an example for how the NDR Program is expected to help communities,” said Mayor Shaun Sipma. “This project was a great first step for what we want to do as a city with HUD using NDR, and it’s a great illustration of what all three levels of government working together can accomplish with the private sector.”

The City of Minot received a $74.3 million HUD grant through the NDR program, $21 million is designated for affordable multifamily housing. It awarded $1.97 million to Essential Living Inc., the non-profit owner of Park South, to renovate the building’s 35 existing apartments and add five new units. Seventy-five percent of Park South’s apartments are now reserved for income-qualified households, four of these units are fully handicapped accessible.

“The project completion on a timely basis fulfills a critical commitment the city made in 2016 when HUD approved the NDR Action Plan,” said Disaster Resilience Program Manager John Zakian. “Park South’s completion is a milestone for the City of Minot in carrying out the goal of fulfilling unmet housing needs in the community.”

Essential Living also received $2.23 million from North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) through the Housing Incentive Fund. The state’s program supports the development and preservation of affordable multifamily rental housing targeted to low- to moderate-income households and essential service workers.

“The assistance North Dakota Housing Finance Agency provided through the Housing Incentive Fund extended the affordability of these homes, and ensures that the individuals and families that live at Park South have a place to live that is both safe and desirable,” said NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline.

The project received additional support through the North Dakota Department of Commerce, $714,950 from the Governor’s Community Development Block Grant Discretionary Funds for the stormwater management work that benefitted the whole neighborhood; and an interest-rate buy down from Bank of North Dakota’s FlexPACE program. The total project cost exceeded $7.4 million.

“Minot was extremely fortunate to receive the NDR Funds, and we are pleased that this project really demonstrates how the private sector can work with the public sector to provide affordable housing for our community,” said Essential Living President Bruce Walker. “Working with the City of Minot, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, and our other project partners has been a very positive experience.”

Located at 234 14th Ave SE, Park South was constructed in 1948 and originally served as a convent. It was converted into apartments in the 1980s with the last major renovation taking place at that time. Essential Living updated all of the existing units’ kitchens and bathrooms, plumbing, electrical, hardware and flooring.

The building’s common areas were also renovated, asbestos was abated, the original coal burning boiler was replaced, and a new entrance, air conditioning and an elevator were added.

Many of Park South’s tenants lived at the property prior to the renovation. The developer phased construction so that those households would not be displaced during the renovation. Currently, 22 of the building’s 40 apartments are rented. Individuals who would like to learn more about Park South can contact the property manager, 1st Minot Management, at (701) 839-7505. Information is also available online, http://www.essentiallivingminot.com.

Essential Living plans to construct affordable patio homes on the five acres that adjoins Park South. If they are able to secure the financing needed, Walker anticipates starting that project next year.

The City of Minot is focused on providing essential services to North Central North Dakota. The City’s National Disaster Resilience Program is an initiative to help the community recover and grow more resilient for the future. The program is possible with the help of $74 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and over $1 million in community-leverage funds.

Essential Living is a non-profit entity focused on creating affordable and sustainable housing opportunities in Ward County. Our goal is to provide affordable housing options that can help improve the quality of life for individuals and families in the community.

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

YWCA Grace Garden groundbreaking promises critical answer to women and families starting new lives.

 

More photographs from the event are available on NDHFA’s Facebook page.

WEST FARGO, ND – YWCA Cass Clay broke ground today on a new residence, Grace Garden, in West Fargo, ND, that, when it opens in 2019, will reflect a new ideal of how to end homelessness by providing ‘Housing First’.

“Stability is the key to success,” says YWCA CEO Erin Prochnow. “Grace Garden will be a place of safety and sure footing for 30 women and their children seeking a better life. At the residence, families will be able to improve their economic stability and health, breaking the cycles of abuse and poverty for the next generation by being assured of an affordable home and support that’s unique to each family’s goals.”

The new $4.3 million property follows the current mindset in America, one that YWCA Cass Clay has championed for decades.

The Housing First homeless prevention model seeks to get those who are homeless out of crisis and rapidly into safe and affordable housing. From this sure ground, women and children get continuous support and guidance from a YWCA advocate as they work on personal goals for jobs, health, education, parenting and more.

The Grace Garden idea first arose when Pastor Joel Baranko of Lutheran Church of the Cross reached out to the YWCA. Interested developers had offered to purchase the large grassy lot adjacent to the church’s property at 1402 16th St. E. in West Fargo, however the church declined offers that were not consistent with its mission and might have resulted in a less neighborhood-friendly project.

“I began to wonder how God might be calling us to put to good use the property with which we had been entrusted. How can we live and love like Jesus with this land?” recalls Baranko.

The congregation voted to lease the site to YWCA in May of 2018, providing an ideal situation for families served by YWCA because of the close proximity to schools, bus routes, employment and worship opportunities.

Gate City Bank demonstrated their commitment to providing a better way of life by pledging $1.5 million to fund project start-up costs and support services over the first 10 years.

“It’s particularly exciting to fund the staff or human side; the real game-changer to empowering women after they’re safely housed. They get practical life guidance, encouragement and someone to walk alongside them as they courageously work towards life goals they determine. The impact will be great for generations to come,” said Kim Meyer, Gate City Bank Executive Vice President of Retail Banking and Human Resources.

In November 2017, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) awarded development support to the residence through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, $672,500, and National Housing Trust Fund, $325,549, and the state’s Housing Incentive Fund, $500,000.

“Grace Garden is a partnership of caring concern from the nonprofit, business and community sectors,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “We are pleased to be able to provide the public sector support needed to complete this extraordinary project, ensuring women and children transitioning from domestic violence have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

The North Dakota Department of Commerce is supporting the land acquisition for Grace Garden through the Governor’s Community Development Block Grant Discretionary Funds.

“Our goal at Commerce is directly related to family stability and community revitalization,” Adele Sigl with the North Dakota Department of Commerce said. “Everyone deserves a place to call home and this new YWCA Supportive Housing project is a community solution to help eliminate homelessness by providing hope, dignity, and support in the form of permanent supportive housing.”

The residence will also receive rental assistance from the Housing Authority of Cass County. A $2.2 million, 15-year contract provides 30 Housing Choice Vouchers to ensure every apartment will be affordable to the families that will call them home.

Thanks to the financing secured, the YWCA will not need to conduct a capital campaign to build Grace Garden. The YWCA will fundraise and facilitate donation drives for furniture, equipment and supplies to help families and operate the building.

The YWCA first ventured into providing supportive housing in 1989 when donors gifted a Fargo four-plex to the organization. Today, it operates 32 supportive housing units. The addition of Grace Garden will allow the YWCA to far exceed expansion plans that were put in place by the organization’s local governing board in 2015, a five-year goal of 40 supportive apartment spaces by 2020.

In 2017, 314 women and children were eligible for the YWCA’s supportive housing units, but only 60 were able to gain homes through the organization. “Unfortunately, women escaping domestic violence typically do not score high enough on assessments to be rapidly housed,” said Prochnow.

Prospective participants for supportive housing in the Fargo metro area are screened through an assessment tool used universally by shelters in the region. Shelter providers meet weekly to review the risk scores of homeless individuals in the system. Openings in housing programs are outlined and applicant’s risk scores are used to match them with a housing program that fits.

Grace Garden’s residents will come primarily from the YWCA emergency shelter and other referring agencies in the community.

Construction on the two-story building begins this summer and is expected to finish in spring 2019. The property will include one- to four-bedroom apartments and community spaces for classes and gatherings. Main floor offices will be home base for YWCA advocates, nursing and other professional resources coming onsite.

About YWCA Cass Clay
YWCA emergency shelter is where victims of domestic violence come day and night, 365 days a year, to escape crisis lives and mend emotionally, physically and spiritually. They receive crucial basics like food and clothing, and resources for education and employment as they navigate toward independence. A caring YWCA team connects women and children to community resources that will further empower them. Besides operating the largest emergency shelter for women and children in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, YWCA Cass Clay operates safe and affordable, short- and long-term supportive housing for low-income women. YWCA offers a food pantry, racial justice advocacy, and a nationally accredited public childcare center, A Child’s World. For more information, visit www.ywcacassclay.org.

From the Director, December 2017

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

As 2017 winds down and we look back at all that’s happened this year, I am more and more grateful to each of you for your continued partnership and support of North Dakota Housing Finance Agency and the housing industry in general.

In Washington, tax reform is still in ongoing negotiations and we don’t know for certain the total affect it will have on housing. One issue that is of grave concern to us is Private Activity Bonds, which the House eliminated but the Senate retained. We utilize the state’s Private Activity Bond authority to issue tax-exempt Mortgage Revenue Bonds to fund our homeownership programs. Without MRBs, we would not have the ability to offer competitive interest rates to first-time and other low-to-moderate income homebuyers.

Losing that program would be devastating for the people who need it most. This year, we have seen a continued upswing in homeownership activity. As more homes are on the market and the fevered competition that sprang from the oil boom of the past decade has cooled, first-time and lower-income homebuyers are better able to enter the market. We need to keep our main source of funding in place so that affordable homeownership will continue to be achievable.

Tax reform will also likely have a major impact on the multifamily development side as well. Lower corporate tax rates are expected to cause an approximately 10 to 15 percent drop in the value of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. That means that more credits will be needed per project to make them feasible and affordable. Receiving the small state minimum amount of tax credits, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is able to fund about four or five projects each year. The unintended consequence of the tax cuts being debated in Congress will be a reduction in affordable housing for low-income individuals and families.

During the legislative session at the beginning of 2017, the Housing Incentive Fund came out with both a win and a loss. The program was made a permanent part of Century Code so we will no longer need to go back to the legislature every two years for renewal. That was a big win, but the loss came from the fact that no additional funding was authorized for the program. Due to some turn backs of previous awards, NDHFA was able to reallocate those funds this fall, but going forward we will not see the activity under that program that we have since 2011 when it was first created.

In 2017, NDHFA rolled out a program to assist community land trusts in North Dakota to have the capacity to do their work. The pilot allows CLTs access to a line of credit for acquisition/rehab or new construction of homes in their program. The Grand Forks CLT was the first to put the funding to use.

NDHFA is working out the details with the City of Minot to assist flood buy-out homeowners and those affected by the 2011 flood in buying a new home there. We look forward to having the program up and running very soon.

While these are just a few of the myriad of things that happened in housing this year, I certainly want to express my deep gratitude to those we work with every day. It is that day-to-day work that makes a difference in lives of North Dakota families. It is that work that gives people a warm place to sleep at night and a dining room table to gather around with family and friends.

I wish you the brightest blessings this holiday season and hope for another wonderful year full of partnership and progress in 2018. Thank you and happy holidays!

 

Housing Finance Agency Awards Development Assistance

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Rendering of Edwinton Place in Bismarck.

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota’s most vulnerable households will benefit from affordable housing development assistance project awards made by North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA).

Seven developers received funding commitments from NDHFA in November. The awards were made through three federal programs – $3.16 million in tax credit authority through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, $2.72 million from the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) and $460,000 from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) – and $2.65 million from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF).

“The projects that North Dakota Housing Finance Agency selected support the state’s efforts to address behavioral health and criminal justice issues while ensuring North Dakota’s aging and disabled households and lower-wage workers have safe and affordable housing as well,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director. “By ensuring that our most vulnerable state residents have a safe and affordable place to call home, we reduce the overall burden placed on the communities and our state.”

About the Projects

Edwinton Place in Bismarck, a “Housing First” project spearheaded by Burleigh County Housing Authority, was awarded $813,000 in LIHTCs. NDHFA also made commitments of $1,026,147 from the HTF, $500,000 from HIF and $460,000 from NSP. It will provide permanent supportive housing for 40 individuals coming directly out of homelessness.

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A rendering of the Edge Artist Flats in Fargo.

The Edge Artist Flats in Fargo, a Commonwealth Development Corp. project, received $740,000 in LIHTCs and $1,369,263 from the HTF. The 42-unit, family-friendly development will provide supportive services to its disabled tenants and to households at risk of homelessness.

HomeField 2 Apartments in Fargo is the second phase of a Beyond Shelter Inc. (BSI) development. NDHFA awarded $504,437 in LIHTCs to support the development of 39 senior apartments including eight accessible units.

Ellendale Apartments, an Affordable Housing Developers Inc. acquisition and rehab project, was awarded $755,000 from HIF to support the redevelopment of a 32-unit property including accessibility improvements that improve the livability of the property for the tenants with disabilities.

Pure Downtown in Grand Forks, a project of Dakota Commercial, received $1.1 million conditional commitment through HIF to reserve 25 of its 50 apartments for low- to moderate-income households.

Dakota Heights in West Fargo, a Southhill Properties LLC project, received $425,100 in LIHTCs. The senior housing project will have a vacancy preference for elderly veterans with Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers. Six of the 30 units will be reserved as permanent supportive housing for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Grace Garden in West Fargo, a joint venture of the YWCA of Cass Clay and BSI, received $672,500 in LIHTCs. NDHFA also made a commitment of $325,549 from the HTF and $500,000 from HIF. The supportive housing project will serve 30 households at risk of homelessness, many of whom are transitioning from domestic violence.

About the Programs

“North Dakota Housing Finance Agency received 27 total applications for assistance from 14 projects during our fall 2017 funding rounds. The greatest demand was for support from the LIHTC and the HTF programs, more than twice what the programs could provide,” said Kline.

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. NSP supports the acquisition of foreclosed, abandoned or vacant properties in targeted areas for redevelopment into affordable rental housing. And HIF, the only state-funded program, strengthens communities by supporting the development or preservation of rental housing for essential service workers and low- to moderate-income households.

All of NDHFA’s development programs have allocation plans that are reviewed annually to ensure that the projects that receive financial awards are addressing 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 supported with federal funds is 30 years, HIF’s is 20 years.

About NDHFA

A public financial institution dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans, NDHFA is overseen by the North Dakota Industrial Commission which consists of Governor Doug Burgum, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. More information about the programs administered by NDHFA and the projects awarded development assistance is available online at www.ndhfa.org.

Hazen Marks Successful Redevelopment of Main Street Property

HAZEN, ND – A gathering in Hazen today marked the successful redevelopment of a blighted Main Street property into an 18-unit apartment complex.

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Project partners celebrate the development of Hazen Pioneer Apartments. Additional photos are available on NDHFA’s Facebook page.

“Through the development of Hazen Pioneer Apartments, we are addressing three community goals – improvement of our Main Street, retention of our senior population and more housing options for the workforce,” said Buster Langowski, Hazen Community Development executive director.

HCD oversaw development and got the project moving forward by purchasing the site’s original building, a community hospital that later served as a nursing home, for $40,000. The City of Hazen supported the effort by providing land, a former city park that surrounds the site, a $60,000 value. The Hazen Housing Authority is the property owner.

“Hazen Pioneer Apartments is an excellent example of how a community can better link housing and supportive services allowing elderly community members to affordably and comfortably age in place,” said Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency executive director. “The result is better quality of life for our seniors and significant healthcare savings for the community and state.”

The project received $2.1 million from the Housing Incentive Fund, a state program that supports the development of housing for essential service workers, main street employees and fixed-income households. NDHFA administers HIF accepting contributions from state taxpayers to capitalize the fund. The agency received 22 contributions that directly supported the project including large contributions by WRT Communications and U.S. Bank.

The Lewis & Clark Development Group provided a $50,000 pre-development loan and the North Dakota Department of Health provided a $17,000 Brownfield Grant for site cleanup. The remaining project financing was provided by Union State Bank and The Union Bank of Hazen. Other partners include Multifamily Capital Resources Inc., a development consultant; Williams Building Company Inc., the construction manager; JLG Architects; Retterath Management and Sales, property management and HJL Management Company, the eligibility agent.

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Community members tour Hazen Pioneer Apartments.

The supportive services for seniors at Hazen Pioneer Apartments include meals, transportation, medical checks, and the local grocery store will make deliveries to tenants. Four of the units are fully accessible. The property is within walking distance of the public library, city hall and downtown businesses. Energy efficient appliances, in-unit laundry and window coverings are provided. Internet access, cable TV and off street parking are available. Individuals interested in learning more should contact Sandy Retterath at Retterath Management and Sales, (701) 748-5577.

HCD is charged with furthering the development of the City of Hazen and the surrounding area by promoting, encouraging and assisting in the development of new enterprises or the expansion or continuation of presently existing businesses.

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

Unique Senior Apartments Open in Downtown Bismarck

BISMARCK, ND – MetroPlains LLC opened the doors to a unique senior apartment complex today. Located in downtown Bismarck, the four-story building offers very desirable amenities and it’s affordable.

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Lt. Governor Sanford (center) congratulates MetroPlains on the completion of 100 West Main.

100 West Main has a four-season porch, lounge, exercise room, community room, and on-site chapel. A community manager organizes activities and supportive services are offered that allow tenants to age in place. The apartments all have energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and some have balconettes. The building is within walking distance of churches and restaurants, retail, financial and medical services, and it offers easy access to public transportation.

“Walkable downtowns that offer a variety of retail, dining and entertainment options, as well as housing for all income levels, are an important element of the Main Street Initiative,” Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford said at the celebratory event. “This property is a great example of public-private partnership creating diverse housing opportunities that help contribute to a healthy, vibrant community.”

Sanford attended the event on behalf of the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The commission, consisting of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

“Affordable housing for seniors with limited incomes is a much-needed resource in Bismarck,” said NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline. “100 West Main will be a great addition to the city’s core.”

NDHFA allocated $600,000 from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund to the project and awarded $506,097 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The credits brought $5.11 million in equity to the project through the syndication by Wells Fargo Affordable Housing Community Development Corp. Wells Fargo also provided the project’s construction financing.

Additional development support was provided by the City of Bismarck, Bank of North Dakota, and the Lewis and Clark Development Group (formerly CommunityWorks North Dakota). Security First Bank provided the project’s pre-development and permanent financing.

“We are very appreciative of all of the support provided by our project partners,” said Rob McCready, MetroPlains Principal. The total cost of developing the property was $6.56 million.

“To have an opportunity to provide affordable housing for seniors in a location which contributes positively to the diversity and vitality of downtown Bismarck is extremely gratifying,” said Randy Schold, MetroPlains Principal.

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More photographs of the property are available on our Facebook page.

All of the apartments at 100 West Main are reserved for income-qualified households age 55 and older. There are 18 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units. Five units are fully accessible. Depending on household size and income, the units rent for $370 to $806 per month plus utilities. An individual earning $17,370 or less would qualify to rent a one-bedroom apartment for $370.

Individuals who would like to learn more about 100 West Main can contact MetroPlains Management at (701) 751-9951. Information is also available online at www.metroplains.com.

MetroPlains partners with individuals, organizations and local governments in order to provide exceptional developments which meet the diverse housing goals of communities. MetroPlains Management provides property management services to promote a superior experience for the residents.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans.