The 66th Legislative Assembly wrapped up last week and we were at the capitol until the very end tracking developments for the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF). On day 76 of the session, an appropriation of $7.5 million was allocated from the general fund for HIF. In addition to funding, the essential service worker requirement was removed and the funding allocation requirement for developing communities was lowered from 25 percent to 15 percent. I want to express my sincere appreciation to all of our partners who talked to legislators about HIF and North Dakota’s ongoing need for affordable housing. I know there were many who called or wrote their local legislators and several industry organizations were diligent in reaching out on our behalf.
If you want more information about the legislative session, join us for in-depth conversations with Lt. Governor Sanford, the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dept. of Human Services, Dept. of Commerce and Rep. Mike Nathe at “Housing North Dakota,” our annual housing conference. Urban and rural housing, Free through Recovery, senior population, recidivism, Operation Prairie Dog, behavioral health, workforce and economic development are just a few of the topics that will be covered. The conference is May 20-21 at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck. Early-bird pricing ends May 10th, so register today!
In case you have not heard, we are anticipating a visit from U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson who has accepted Senator John Hoeven’s invitation to visit North Dakota and review efforts to combat homelessness in the state. We do not know exactly when Sec. Carson will be in North Dakota, but we look forward to meeting with him and discussing North Dakota’s housing needs.
Finally, the agency is losing one of our housing advocates in Western North Dakota. Advisory Board Member Joan Mainwaring of Williston resigned on April 30th to move back to Bozeman, MT, to be closer to family. Joan was a boots on the ground real estate lending manager with American State Bank and voiced concern about all population segments from millennials to the frail elderly and how they were either going to purchase a home or remain in their home. We wish Joan the best of luck and appreciate her investment in our board.