Last fall, the Statewide Housing Needs Assessment was completed, providing many insights into the barriers residents face when accessing housing. Recently, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments released data that echoed an important key finding: when it comes to rental households, many are cost-burdened.
A household is considered cost burdened when they pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent. When this is the case, occupants may need to make trade-offs when making rent payments, buying food, scheduling regular medical care, or filling prescriptions.
NLIHC’s Out of Reach report revealed that more than one-third of our population are renters and through the Housing Needs Assessment we know that they’ve experienced rising housing costs, with gross rents increasing by 49 percent in the past decade. To afford a fair market rent, two-bedroom apartment at $925/month, a person must earn a monthly wage of $3,084. Those at 50% area median income and undoubtedly those at 30% have difficulty paying rent and affording other necessary expenditures.
The core of NDHFA’s mission is making housing affordable for all North Dakotans and understanding these data points and trends help our agency make informed decisions when it comes to our development programs and allocation plans. We just announced the availability of federal and state funds to our development partners, a tool to help create or rehabilitate existing multifamily units. We look forward to announcing funding commitments later this fall and eventually seeing those shovels in the ground, ensuring more families have access to affordable housing.