Governor Jack Dalrymple today said that the state continues to facilitate the development of low-income housing in North Dakota's rapidly developing oil counties. The state utilizes a variety of programs to spur the construction of low-income housing, to rehabilitate low-income housing and to provide low-interest loans so that low- to moderate-income residents can become home owners.We remain fully engaged with community partners to continue making more affordable housing available in our oil and gas counties," Dalrymple said. "We must do all we can so that people can stay in their communities even in the face of this tremendous housing demand."
In 2011, the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, under the direction of the North Dakota Industrial Commission, facilitated the development of 271 low-income housing units throughout the state's oil producing counties. The agency committed about $6 million which was leveraged with private investments to develop about $31 million in low-income housing. The state Housing Finance Agency leads the Statewide Technical Assistance Team (STAT) which works with local communities to help them address housing needs.
Additionally, the North Dakota Department of Commerce has allocated about $1.2 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to support the development of an additional 138 housing units for low-income residents in western North Dakota.
The construction of low-income housing in western North Dakota is expected to increase significantly in coming years largely due to the state's enhanced Housing Incentive Fund. Following Dalrymple's recommendation, the Legislature increased the state Housing Incentive Fund to provide for $15 million in tax credits for the development of low-income housing during the current biennium. Ninety percent of the fund, or $13.5 million, will help fund projects in the state's oil producing counties and in federal disaster areas.
Currently, companies and private citizens have contributed more than $6.3 million to the state Housing Incentive Fund for new housing projects. Contributors receive a state tax credit of equal value to help finance the construction of low-income housing.
The state is also facilitating residential development in western North Dakota by providing $135 million in impact grants. Communities are using these funds to extend their sewer and water services, to build streets and expand their water treatment plants -- projects that directly support the development of additional residential housing.
In Williston, more than 2,000 new housing units are in various stages of development, including 305 single family homes, 113 manufactured homes and 1,017 apartment units. In Dickinson more than 2,300 new housing units are under development, including 700 single family homes, 200 duplexes and 270 apartment units. These housing units include hotels and extended-stay facilities.
To address North Dakota's current and future housing needs, the state Housing Finance Agency has commissioned a comprehensive study which is expected to be completed this summer. The Statewide Housing Needs Assessment will include information specific to the housing needs in oil-impact counties. More information about the Housing Assessment Resource Project can be found at: www.ndsu.nodak.edu/sdc/sharp/