Agency presents Champion of Affordable Housing Awards

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Photos of the award winners are available online:

BISMARCK, ND – North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) recognized six of its partners in February with Champion of Affordable Housing Awards for their outstanding promotion and delivery of the agency’s homeownership programs.

“Through our Champion of Affordable Housing Awards, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency honors the professionals who partner with our agency, promote our programs, and help to make homeownership obtainable for every North Dakotan,” said Dave Flohr, the agency’s executive director.

NDHFA’s FirstHome™ program provides low- to moderate-income buyers with low-cost mortgages loans, and down payment and closing cost assistance. Single parents, veterans, and families with disabled or elderly households members can qualify for similar help through the agency’s HomeAccess program. NDHFA’s North Dakota Roots program assists households who require assistance to buy again or whose income exceeds the limits of the agency’s standard programs. Roots can also be used to refinance residential real estate loans.

“North Dakota Housing Finance Agency helped 1,460 individuals and families to successfully buy their first home in 2022,” said Brandon Dettlaff, the agency’s homeownership division director. “All of these buyers learning about the agency’s homeownership programs from one of our outstanding housing partners.”

Town & Country Credit Union and Gate City Bank received the Champion of Affordable Housing – Award of Excellence for best practices and outstanding delivery of the NDHFA’s homeownership programs.

Aaron Stoneberg of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and Brian Johnson of Valley Mortgage Inc. received NDHFA’s Homeownership Performance Award-Lender. Both men are based in Fargo, ND. Olivia Wellenstein of Continental Real Estate in Dickinson, ND, and Katherine Kiernan of Aspire Realty in Fargo, ND, were recognized by NDHFA with the Homeownership Performance Award-Real Estate. All of NDHFA’s Performance awards are recognition for the volume and quality of loans produced.

“Currently, more than 70% of NDHFA’s borrowers use our down payment and closing cost assistance. The demand is attributed not only to higher interest rates, but also to home sales prices increasing more than 51% over the past decade while household income has only grown 41%,” said Flohr. With a large population of young people expected to enter the home buying stage of their life, NDHFA anticipates there will be increased demand for its homeownership programs over the next decade.

Participating Lenders originate loans on behalf of NDHFA. Once a loans closes, it is sold to and serviced by the state agency. Real estate agents who have completed a training course on NDHFA’s homeownership programs have earned the designation as a FirstHome Certified Agent. Parties interested in learning more about the agency’s homeownership programs will find information online at

NDHFA is a self-supporting and mission-driven state agency dedicated to making housing affordable for all North Dakotans. The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Drew H. Wrigley, oversees the agency.

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