Congressman Rick Berg today joined Dickinson community leaders to discuss the housing challenges facing western North Dakota and work toward short and long-term solutions to addressing Dickinson's housing needs.
"While North Dakota's thriving energy sector has created new opportunities for economic growth and business development, it has also led to rapid population growth, which has created an immediate need for additional housing in the Dickinson area," Berg stated. "Today's roundtables discussed some of the regulatory challenges facing area builders and lenders as they work to address the housing situation in Dickinson. I will continue to work closely alongside local and state officials, as well as area developers, contractors, and lenders, to find solutions to the housing challenges facing the region."
In a roundtable discussion held at the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce, Berg brought together stakeholders from across the state to hear about the hurdles to building, selling and lending in the Dickinson region. The participants discussed the need for short-term solutions to ease the current housing crunch, while also considering long-term solutions to manage the region's housing needs well into the future.
Before the discussion, Berg joined Dickinson Mayor Dennis W. Johnson, City Planner Ed Courton, and Neal Messer of Continental Real Estate for a tour of Dickinson's new housing developments and areas being considered for future development.
Other roundtable discussion participants included: Jill Beck, CEO of ND Association of Realtors; Diana Zietz, President of ND Association of Realtors; Kyle Kuntz, Kuntz Builders and ND Association of Builders; Paul Bosch, Bosch Lumber Co. and ND Association of Builders; Mike Anderson, Executive Director of ND Housing Finance Agency; Vaune Cripe, Senior Vice President of American Bank Center and NDBA Chairman; Jeff Moore, Dacotah Bank; David Selinger, Great Plains National Bank; Shawn Kessel, Dickinson City Administrator; Shirley Dukart, Home and Land Company.
Last month, Berg held similar discussions in Minot to work toward solutions to the Minot community's housing needs. Minot faces significant housing challenges due to last year's unprecedented flooding, as well as substantial population growth brought on by ongoing energy development. Berg also plans to hold a housing roundtable in Williston.