Another national study highlights need for more affordable housing in North Dakota

(Source & Credit: National Low Income Housing Coalition) – There is a massive shortage of 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters—those earning at or below either the federal poverty line or 30% of their area median income, according to the reports the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) annual “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes” report.

On average nationally, only 33 affordable and available homes exist for every 100 renter households with extremely low incomes.

This shortage impacts every state and the District of Columbia, resulting in widespread housing cost burdens, reports the NLIHC.

The shortage ranges from 10,215 rental homes in Wyoming to nearly 1 million in California.

While North Dakota fares a bit better than some other states, the numbers still paint a picture of state in much need of more affordable houses and rental units. 

For our state, the study found

  • North Dakota has a deficit of 12,780 affordable and available rental units with only 4,017 at or below 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Number of extremely low income renter households: 25,385
  • Total number of affordable and available rental homes: 12,605

Affordable and available rental units per 100 households… 

  • At or below extremely low income threshold: 50
  • At or below 50 percent AMI: 108
  • At or below 80 percent AMI: 119
  • At or below 100 percent AMI: 116

The findings are no surprise to Brent Ekstrom, Lewis & Clark Development Group Executive Director. Ekstrom points out this study confirms many of the key findings in the recent Statewide Housing Assessment from the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

“Many North Dakotans don’t fully understand the scope of the affordable housing problem in our state. We are working to address this problem but also to raise awareness in pursuit of developing collaborative approaches to tackle the problem,” says Ekstrom.

“It’s gonna take state and local leaders, lenders, and developers to address this challenge. North Dakota is not struggling as bad as some states but if don’t act, we’ll fall further behind. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Lewis & Clark Development Group, through CommunityWorks North Dakota, is taking the lead in providing affordable housing throughout the state. LCD Group is the only chartered NeighborWorks America (NWA) organization in North Dakota.