Tag Archives: Williston

From the Director, August 2018

Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director

Throughout my years at the agency, I’ve learned that when communities advocate for themselves, the outcome can be dynamic. This month I participated in three community events where organized and passionate stakeholders, focused on long-term goals, achieved their vision for diversified housing. It is exciting to be a part of their vision during the development phase and to celebrate their successes at major milestones.

LaGrave on First in Grand Forks is a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) project that will house 42 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness utilizing the ‘Housing First’ model where the individuals are rapidly housed and then offered services to address the issues causing their homelessness. After years of planning, six funding streams and strong community support, LaGrave on First opened its doors this month.

Another Housing First project, Edwinton Apartments in Bismarck, broke ground in August. It will create 40 new PSH units and be operational by the fall of 2019. The project is located within an Opportunity Zone that was designated by Gov. Burgum earlier this year.

We know that chronically homeless individuals cost communities $30,000 to $50,000 every year. Providing these individuals with immediate access to housing is estimated to save a community up to 40 percent of the total cost. Having a home is so important as the foundation for a new life where individuals can feel safe and begin their personal journey to stability and recovery. LaGrave and Edwinton are modeled after the Cooper House, North Dakota’s a Housing First project which opened in Fargo in 2010. After seeing Fargo’s success, other communities have a viable, working template to customize to fit within the parameters of their own needs.

Minot’s Park South Apartments, built in 1948 as a convent and converted to apartments in the 1980s, now offers 40 renovated housing units, 30 are deemed affordable. This project is a significant milestone for Minot for many reasons. In 2016, the city applied for and was awarded one of 13 National Disaster Resilience (NDR) grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development totaling $74.3 million. The city designated $21 million of their award for affordable multifamily housing. Park South is one of the first NDR completed projects in the nation and fills a critical affordable housing gap in the community. The project also received $2.23 million from NDHFA’s Housing Incentive Fund which was made possible by financial contributions from local banks, businesses and individuals in exchange for $2.23 million in state income tax credits.

Further west in the state, the Williston/Watford City areas are once again dealing with housing shortages which is also a workforce recruitment issue. In April, conversations began about how NDHFA’s Construction Loan Guarantee program could be leveraged to alleviate the pressure on this housing market. After analyzing the potential impact and discussions with multiple community stakeholders, the program has been modified. It can now provide up to $500,000 in guarantees per community or per contractor. Initially, it was designed to no more than five guarantees per community and three per contractor. This change will allow lenders to work with builders to determine the best balance between construction costs and local demand, taking advantage when possible of the economies of scale that come with building multiple homes in one location at one time. We are interested to see how communities benefit from the program change.

NDHFA’s mission is to make housing affordable for all North Dakotans, making the agency a stakeholder in every urban and rural community across the state. Together with these communities, private industry, nonprofits, faith-based entities and government agencies, we are making progress.

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.”

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.

Affordable Housing a Key Consideration

When making decisions about the future, having access to affordable housing is a key consideration for everyone from community and business leaders to workers and consumers.

HIF Invest in Your Community“Without affordable housing, it is challenging for businesses to recruit and retain employees,” says Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency executive director. “And, seniors and disabled individuals need safe, suitable options to be able to remain in a community.”

Through the support of state taxpayers, NDHFA’s Housing Incentive Fund has proven to be an excellent resource in addressing the state’s most critical housing needs. The program provides low-cost financing to developers of affordable housing.

“Since HIF’s inception, we have allocated over $89.6 million to 78 projects,” said Kline. “These dollars have leveraged more than $425 million in construction financing to support the development of 2,450 new housing units statewide.”

NDHFA is currently focused on fully capitalizing the program so it can honor commitments made to projects in Bismarck, Bowman, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Gwinner, Minot, Valley City and Williston. The agency has until Dec. 31, 2016, to raise the $3 million needed.

HIF contributors receive a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit and can target contributions to a specific project or community. Learn more online at www.ndhousingincentivefund.org or by contacting NDHFA at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov.

Housing Projects Statewide Split Development Assistance

Housing Incentive Fund program logoHousing Incentive Fund Tax Credits Still Available
BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Industrial Commission announced today that 10 projects will share $9.7 million from the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) following a spring 2016 funding round. The program supports the development of affordable multifamily housing for essential service workers, main street employees and fixed-income households.

“The Housing Incentive Fund is a powerful resource that has allowed us to address North Dakota’s most critical housing needs,” said members of the North Dakota Industrial Commission in a joint statement. 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 HIF program administrator.

NDHFA selected projects in Bismarck, Bowman, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Minot, Valley City and Williston. Seven of the projects are new construction with two projects in both Devils Lake and Valley City. The retirement of a portion of the debt for existing Bowman, Dickinson and Williston projects will result in market-rate units being converted to affordable housing and will not increase the communities’ overall housing inventory.

“A set-aside for rural communities in this funding round allowed us to address the needs of under-served areas of the state while also supporting the development of more than two dozen units affordable for extremely-low income households,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA’s executive director. “Our focus now is on capitalizing HIF so that all of our commitments can be honored and this much-needed housing can be built.”

NDHFA has until Dec. 31, 2016, to raise the final $3 million required to fully capitalize HIF. Individuals and businesses that make contributions receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit. Contributions can be targeted to a specific project or community. More information is available online at www.ndhousingincentivefund.org or by contacting NDHFA at (800) 292-8621 or hfainfo@nd.gov. 

Since HIF’s 2011 inception, $89.6 million has been allocated to 78 projects, leveraging almost $425 million in construction financing to support the development of more than 2,450 new housing units statewide.

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

Promise of Affordability

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Miriam Shaw

A pink rocking chair sways in the breeze on Miriam Shaw’s front porch at ParkRidge Townhomes in Williston’s new Harvest Hills subdivision as she stands at her stove tending to boiling pots. The spacious kitchen is the Jamaican native’s favorite place in her new home and the comfort of knowing it will be affordable for years to come makes everything taste a little sweeter.

Shaw moved into her townhome with her two children shortly after the complex opened in October 2015. “It reminds us of our home back in Georgia,” she said. “It is really nice. We really like it.”

A nurse at Mercy Medical Center’s occupational health clinic in Williston, Shaw moved to town in 2014 following her daughter who had come, like many others, in search of opportunity. She appreciates what the community and state have to offer. “I like Williston. It is small, but I like the open spaces, places to walk and the scenery,” she said. “And I love living here. It is really comfy and just cozy like our [previous] home was.”

Shaw struggled to find a place to live when she first arrived in Williston and lived in several other apartment units which had space and cost challenges before moving into the townhouse community.  ParkRidge Townhomes, developed by Mountain Plains Equity Group, includes 36 units with half of them targeted to Essential Service Workers like Shaw. Rent for the ESWs are restricted and tenants must be below income limits. In addition to medical staff, there are also law enforcement personnel, school employees and county workers who call ParkRidge home.

Shaw said while market rate rents in Williston have fluctuated due to changes in the oil industry, the assurance that her rent will remain affordable was a huge bonus.

“The promise that the price would remain affordable for 15 years is very nice,” she said. “It just gives you comfort in your mind that it will remain. That really is a nice promise because we don’t know what lies around the corner.”

The stability of the rent in Shaw’s unit at ParkRidge comes from its funding through the Housing Incentive Fund. The $7.2 million project received just over $2 million from HIF, administered by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. The units must remain at affordable levels for at least 15 years.

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Shaw’s townhome has an open-concept with all the amenities she was looking for including a heated attached garage. “That is so nice, to be able to pull in and throw the grocery bags out,” she said. “The layout is nice. We have so much storage; they utilized every inch.”

She also appreciates its convenient location just blocks from the new Williston High School, where her son will attend. “I’m excited to be closer to the school… probably more than he is,” she said. “I’m going to be so happy to have a shorter drive to his school events.”

Shaw who lived and worked as a nurse in New York and Georgia before coming to North Dakota sees herself enjoying more evenings rocking in her pink chair which she hopes to make even more colorful or in her kitchen cooking unique Jamaican fare like jerked chicken and pork, rice and beans in coconut milk, curried goat and spicy fried fish dishes. “It is such a nice place,” she said. “I feel like we are going to be here a while.”