If you are not aware, there are less than two weeks left in 2020, but who is counting? This year taught us how to operate our business with more flexibility and empathy for our employees, customers, business partners and stakeholders. Through the chaos, we were able to modernize business practices and develop new processes without delaying services, which is a testament to North Dakota Housing Finance Agency’s (NDHFA) staff.
For the Homeownership Division, 2020 mortgage numbers were close to annual projections. Low-interest rates drove house buying and mortgage refinancing activities across the state. A strong housing market persevered and fortunately for NHDFA’s mortgage holders, the majority have been able to weather the pandemic while remaining in their homes.
North Dakotan residents renting their homes were under more stress, especially those working in jobs where hours were reduced or their employer had to close their doors. While numerous stakeholders have been working diligently to protect these residents, we all hold our breath as to what will happen after the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of the month. The weight of the financial pressure placed upon rental property owners as tenants struggle to make their full payments each month is not sustainable.
If you would like to learn how homeowners and renters are faring, I encourage you to read The Current State of Housing In North Dakota, a study published by NDHFA on the affordability of single and multifamily housing, the impacts of COVID-19, and housing challenges faced by vulnerable populations in 2020. The study highlights the continued need for more housing options for older adults so they can live independently for as long as possible. To help address this need, NDHFA recently awarded federal tax credits to four senior housing projects. Read the press release for detailed project information.
The 67th North Dakota Legislative session will kick off in just under three weeks, but once again, who is counting? During Gov. Burgum’s Executive Budget Address, he proposed the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) be funded with $8 million from the Legacy Fund. Created during the 2011 Legislative Session, HIF is the only state-funded resource providing affordable housing in North Dakota. It has supported the construction and rehabilitation of multifamily projects in urban and rural communities across North Dakota.
In recognition of 10 Years of HIF, the agency dedicated a webpage highlighting the people who live in HIF housing, program utilization, and the state’s ongoing housing need. Click through to view the webpage. We are also aware of at least one additional HIF funding bill that will be circulating during the session and a proposal within the Dept. of Commerce’s budget bill to transfer the federal HOME program to NDHFA.
Thank you to all of you that continue to support NDHFA’s mission to create and preserve affordable homebuyer and rental housing options. While it has been too long since the NDHFA staff has seen you in person, know that we do miss our time spent together. Our mission is successful because of your dedication to ensuring everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.