$5.1 million grant awarded for North Dakota housing; state housing advisory committee starts work

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency was awarded a $5.1 million grant for housing programs.

The grant, administered by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, will go toward housing for low- and middle-income workers, seniors, people with disabilities and people at risk of homelessness.

The grant multiplied a donation to the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency by the Bank of North Dakota. The Bank of North Dakota provided about $1.28 million, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines provided roughly $3.8 million.

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency and Bank of North Dakota are overseen by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, which is comprised of Governor Doug Burgum, Attorney General Drew Wrigley, and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

In a statement, the three commissioners expressed the critical importance of addressing the state’s affordable and attainable housing needs.

“Affordable housing is a key component of economic development. It plays a critical role in attracting workforce talent and is one of the highest priorities of people moving to our state,” the commissioners stated.

‘Another arrow in the quiver’

LCD Group Executive Director Brent Ekstrom, a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines’ Affordable Housing Advisory Council, said the grant is much needed.

“This is another arrow in the quiver, if you will, that gives the state further resources to tackle this issue,” Ekstrom noted.

The announcement coincides with the launch of the state’s new housing initiative. Last month, Governor Burgum appointed Ekstrom, along with 26 other leaders from across the state, to the North Dakota Housing Initiative Advisory Committee

State Housing Initiative Advisory Committee Meets

The committee held its first meeting on June 5 in Bismarck.

The group will meet throughout the summer to review data, learn from experts, and offer recommendations that will lead to the development of a comprehensive housing strategy for North Dakota. 

“The state rightly views housing as a workforce issue. This is a framework which every member of the advisory committee agrees, but all of us also understands the complexity of the issue. There are many layers to this issue. For those of us who work on affordable housing every day, we know that housing is also about stable communities and an individual’s dignity and self worth,” said Ekstrom.

“I believe our first meeting really set us on the right path. I’m glad to be part of this process and am grateful to see the state is taking this action.”

About the North Dakota Housing Initiative: Visit the initiative’s website to stay informed, review data, and see what communities across North Dakota are doing to make housing attainable. 

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines: The Federal Home Loan Banks were created by Congress during the New Deal era. Their main goal is to lend money to financial institutions to promote affordable housing and other community projects. The member-owned system is regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but receives no taxpayer money. Learn more at fhlbdm.com.

Credits and Sources: North Dakota Monitor

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