Burgum launches state housing initiative, appoints LCD Group’s Brent Ekstrom and other experts to advisory committee

Governor Doug Burgum has appointed a North Dakota Housing Initiative Advisory Committee to lead the development of a comprehensive housing strategy for North Dakota.

Burgum announced the Housing Initiative in January in his 2024 State of the State Address, building on the success of a similar effort last biennium to tackle another major roadblock to workforce participation – child care. The Legislature ultimately approved, and Burgum signed, a $66 million package to address child care availability, affordability and quality.

“Ensuring that all North Dakotans have access to safe, affordable, quality housing is key as more people choose to move to our state and our economy grows, and as we work to reduce barriers to workforce participation,” Burgum said.

“We’re grateful to everyone contributing their time and energy to this Housing Initiative, and we encourage the public to visit the website to provide their input.”

The governor will also be hosting a series of listening sessions across the state this summer. Those sessions began on May 16 and 17 with forums in Bismarck and Fargo. The sessions will gather input from stakeholders on how to improve housing availability, affordability and stability across the state. 

The Housing Initiative is following a similar process with a series of listening sessions among public and private stakeholders in the housing sector to identify solutions to the state’s housing challenges and develop a comprehensive housing plan for the 2025 Legislature to consider. 

Ekstrom honored to serve, eager to develop solutions

Lewis & Clark Development Executive Director Brent Ekstrom was appointed to the committee. He joins 24 other leaders from across the state drawn from the various industries and sectors.

“I’m honored to have been selected. I’ve said for some time now that the only way we can address this challenge is to have lenders, developers, economic developers, local and state government officials, and nonprofits at the table. This initiative does this,” says Ekstrom, who also serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Council of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with Governor Burgum, state officials, and my fellow committee members to developing practical solutions to addressing North Dakota’s housing challenge.”

CommunityWorks North Dakota, which is part of LCD Group, is North Dakota’s only chartered member of the national NeighborWorks America (NWA) network.

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. 

Learn More: The state has launched a North Dakota Housing Initiative website. The website includes data about housing, examples of local housing plans and a link to a public input survey.

Dig Deeper: North Dakota’s Affordable Housing Challenge

Credits and Sources: Office of the Governor 

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