Helping to Tackle North Dakota’s Toughest Challenge
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us. We’re talking about a significant multiplier effect that will broaden our ability to collaborate with partners in providing affordable housing solutions,” says CommunityWorks Executive Director Brent Ekstrom.
“Affordable housing is, far and away, North Dakota’s most pressing and persistent challenge.”
An overwhelming majority of North Dakotans agree with Ekstrom. A recent survey conducted by Community Action Partnership of North Dakota found 65 percent of residents list affordable housing as the state’s biggest overall need.
North Dakota’s “Terrible Trio”
According to Ekstrom, North Dakota’s affordable housing challenge is being driven by what he calls “a terrible trio” of factors.
- Lack of Inventory: The state suffers from a significant lack of inventory. To meet demand, North Dakota needs to construct 12,780 more houses and rental units.
- Priced Too High: What is on the market is often priced too high for first-time homebuyers and significantly squeezes the budgets of those who would like to move to a larger house to accommodate a growing family. A recent Federal Reserve Study found the average household will spend 42.9 percent of its income to pay for a median-priced home.
- Too Few Affordable Rental Units: Only 4,017 affordable and available rental units in the state are at or below 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). Housing studies find 25,385 North Dakota renter households fit the classification of an extremely low renter household.
For 28 years, CommunityWorks North Dakota has been at the forefront of providing affordable housing solutions for North Dakota’s communities.
In that time, the organization has created 3,313 single- and multi-family housing units and has managed grants and investments that have leveraged more than $105 million in affordable housing projects throughout the state.
The organization, which is part of the Lewis & Clark Development Group and North Dakota’s only chartered member of the national NeighborWorks America® (NWA) network, has maximized its unique resources and abilities in collaborating with partners by providing:
- Affordable Housing: Developing supportive housing for families, seniors, and individuals with intellectual and developmental challenges along with managing 698 multi-family housing properties in 21 communities.
- Essential Public Employee Program (EP2): Working with banks and credit unions in offering EP2, a down payment and closing cost assistance program for individuals employed by a city, county, school district, medical or long-term care facility, the state of North Dakota and others.
- DREAM Fund: Providing financing for first- and second-mortgages which traditional lenders cannot provide through the DREAM Fund, which provides critical assistance to help with down payment and closing costs, rehabilitation, emergency repairs, affordability gaps and bridge loans.
“Our record speaks for itself. CommunityWorks is a sound investment with a track record of successful collaboration with lenders, developers, and municipal governments over the years and throughout the state,” says Ekstrom.
“Affordable housing challenges us all. CommunityWorks is providing answers. If your institution cares about your community then I encourage you to join us.”
For Download: CommunityWorks FHLB Member Impact Fund (PDF)