DREAM Fund closed on loans totaling almost $1 million in 2021

Lisa Pogatshnik is LCD Group’s home loan expert and she’s been very busy the last two years.

As LCD Group’s housing director, she manages both the DREAM Fund and the Essential Public Employee Program (EP2) – two innovative and in-depend home loan programs.

The DREAM Fund has been one of LCD Group’s most popular programs precisely because it provides financing that traditional lending programs cannot accommodate. Specifically, the program provides assistance with down payment and closing costs, rehabilitation, emergency repairs, construction and construction bridge loans, along with mortgage assistance to overcome lending barriers, including appraisal and affordability gaps.

Surprisingly, the fund saw a noticeable increase in demand in 2020. 

“During the early months of the pandemic, many of us had to stay home . We had a lot of time to look around our house and see what we wanted to change and many had time to make updates,” says Pogatshnik.

‘A great year’

And the DREAM Fund remained very much in demand in 2021 with Pogatshnik reporting that LCD Group closed on 44 DREAM Fund loans totaling $922,314.

The fund also financed single-family homes in the communities of Saint John, Rolla, Newburg, Selz, and Warwick. 

“The numbers for last year are slightly down from 2020 but that was a very unusual year.

 You really shouldn’t judge any year against 2020. When you compare 2021 to previous years, it was a great year for the DREAM Fund,” notes Pogatshnik.

“Lenders who know the program promote the program and we’ve been able to get the word out about the DREAM Fund. Also, those who use the fund have become the biggest champions for the program.”

Another LCD Group program that is winning over converts is the EP2 Program. LCD Group closed on ten EP2 loans totaling almost $90,000 last year. 

“We anticipate demand for EP2 will only grow for three reasons. First, it works with any bank or credit union in the state. It fits perfectly into the loan process. Second, the worker shortage is forcing employers to offer incentives to attract qualified employees to locate, especially in small towns,” Pogatshnik observes. 

EP2 is available to individuals employed by city or county government, the state of North Dakota, a school district, a medical or long-term care facility, or others as determined by Lewis & Clark Development Group. The program offers loans of up to $10,000 with interest rates as low as two percent (2%) for up to ten years. Applicants must meet minimum down payment requirements or avoid mortgage insurance for more affordable house payments.

Inflation is a wild card

Already two months into 2022, Pogatshnik says demand is steady but uncertainty is on the horizon.

“Inflation is something we have not had to deal with in 40 years. We’ve had many years with record low interest rates. That’s changing. We anticipate, but do not know ,what impact that will have moving forward. Regardless, the DREAM Fund and EP2 will continue to be available and meet North Dakota’s housing affordability challenge,” says Pogatshnik.

Click here for more information LCD Group’s home loan programs or contact LCD Group Housing Director Lisa Pogatshnik at (701) 667-7603 or at lisa@lcdgroup.org.