Q&A with Paulette Paulson, LCD Group Multifamily Housing Director

Lewis & Clark Development Group’s professional property management services continues to expand just as the need for affordable housing continues to grow throughout North Dakota.

This month we sat down and visited with LCD Group Multifamily Housing Director Paulette Paulson about the scope, current state, and future of property management services.

Paulson has 24 years of experience in community development in both the government and nonprofit sectors to the new position. Through the years Paulson has especially focused on the creation and management of affordable housing in rural communities. Spend no more than five minutes visiting with her and you will discover that, for her, property management is more than a service – it’s mission to ensure everyone has a place to call home.
 

For those who are not familiar with LCD Group’s property management services, please tell us about the scope of services being offered.  

Although our services vary between properties and ownership, our focus is to manage properties and compliance across the state of North Dakota. Our expertise is in affordable properties. This is where the property has obtained financing from a source that has restrictions on rent and income level. These restrictions require the time of staff to do verifications of income and assets and can, in many circumstances, be very complex.


How many properties does LCD Group now own and operate across North Dakota? 

LCD Group currently owns and manages one property in Belfield and another two properties in Tioga totaling 48 units. We manage 23 other properties for third parties owners in 18 communities across the state totaling 434 units. In these properties, we work with different government agencies and restrictive products including USDA, HUD, HOME, CDBG, Federal Home Loan Bank, NSP, Housing Incentive Funds.


Will additional properties be coming onboard in the next few months and where will they be located? 

We are working to add three more properties located in Mayville, Williston, and Dunseith to our management portfolio.


What has been the level of demand for LCD Group’s property management services? 

As the requirements and demands from government agencies increase, it is becoming more difficult to find management companies open to offering their services to the small communities in rural areas. With non-profit boards finding it harder to find members, many are not able to be in compliance and need another non-profit to step in and continue the commitment of supporting the housing presently in their small rural communities. 

We assist these communities in assuring they have both ownership and management that will meet the stringent compliance requirements and guarantee there is active ownership. Having those two items in place is important to communities and to the families and individuals that need affordable and safe housing.  

 
What is the typical renter in LCD Group properties? Or do you see all types of renters from various backgrounds? 

With funding sources being so varied, so too are our tenants. We have properties where there is rental assistance for the tenant with that person or family having little to no income. We also have funding sources that support individuals that make 120% of median income and, depending on the size of the household or county, that could be an average of $70,000. 


You’ve been involved in affordable housing for many years. From your professional perspective, what is the state of affordable multi-family housing in North Dakota? What are you seeing in the inquiries for LCD Group properties? 

Although the housing stock is aging, it is still needed in our state. That being said we all have to be more creative in how we ensure we care for and maintain the properties. And as I stated before, the level of complexity in paperwork is increasing and the profitability is less, so there are fewer options for management of these properties.

We feel that now, more than ever, there is a need for the services we offer both in management and ownership. We must continue to offer safe and affordable housing for communities. We all know we can’t grow as a community, as families, and as an individual, without a place to call home. 

 
Where do you see LCD Group’s property management services one year from now? 

The mission is to grow our services slowly and in a manner that makes sense for us and for our clients. We want to provide quality in our product and service. Longevity requires support from the board, from the communities we serve, and cash flow to allow us to continue meeting the housing needs of our fellow North Dakotans.

Click here for more information on LCD Group’s Property Management Services. 

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