Housing Agency Recognizes Partners with Champion Awards

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BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency recognized a dozen of its outstanding partners as Champions of Affordable Housing at the Statewide Housing Conference.

“The Champion Awards recognize and celebrate the work of individuals, non-profit organizations, public agencies, and private sector businesses who go above and beyond to provide affordable housing for the people of North Dakota,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA executive director.

Through NDHFA’s homeownership programs individuals and families, primarily first-time buyers, receive low-cost financing, and down payment and closing cost assistance.

Two real estate agents, Olivia Wellenstein of Dickinson and Paige Danner of Bismarck, and four loan officers, Carissa Martin of Valley City, Tanya Nenow of Jamestown, and Travis Lang and Tanya Pomerleau, both of Bismarck, were recognized for loan production with Homeownership Performance Awards.

Kirkwood Bank & Trust and First International Bank and Trust were recognized with Homeownership Excellence Awards for their best practices and outstanding delivery of NDHFA’s loan programs.

NDHFA also administers rental programs and supports the development of multifamily housing for low-income households. Gordon Johnson of Grand Forks was honored with a Property Management Award of Excellence for his outstanding and compassionate facilities management of Care Co-op Centers, a Section 8/202 project overseen by the agency.

The agency’s Visionary Award, recognition of an exceptional body of work, was presented to Jill Elliott, the deputy director of the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Her knack for innovation and clear vision has led a team of individuals to make lasting change for individuals, families and the community.

Legacy Awards, recognizing a history of advocating for or providing affordable housing and related services, were presented to former Abused Adult Resource Center Executive Director Diane Zainhofsky and Pride Inc. CEO Charles Bisnett, both of Bismarck. In her 39 years at AARC, Zainhofsky was instrumental in developing the organization’s key service – safe shelter. Bisnett has dedicated 22 years of his life to serving individuals with disabilities, the aged, the poor and homeless.

A self-supporting state agency, NDHFA is dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees the agency. For more information on the awards or the agency’s programs, contact (800) 292-8621 or www.ndhfa.org.

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