Housing Needs Assessment | VideoJennifer Joas | 9/25/2012
From oil workers to construction and retail, thousands of workers are pilling into North Dakota to make a living for their families. And the NDSU researchers estimate the state`s population will grow by 25 percent in the next 13 years to 841,000 people.
Affordable housing is critical to accommodate the extra growth.
"We`re excited in that we`re going to be moving closer to being able to achieve that additional affordable housing unit in proportion to what the total demand is going to be for the state. So we`re pretty excited about it right now," said Mike Anderson with the ND Housing Finance Agency.
Traditionally North Dakota relied on the federal low income housing credits to help provide affordable housing in the state.
"Two years ago we realized that was going to be woefully inadequate in North Dakota. That was not going to do the job. And we needed a tool that would stimulate the kind of thing the housing finance does everyday. But stimulate it in a much bigger way," said Dalrymple.
That`s why the legislature appropriated $15 million in tax credits for a housing incentive fund. The governor is now proposing the bank of North Dakota set aside $30 million, plus dedicate an additional $20 million in tax credits to grow the Housing Incentive Fund by $50 million.
"We need to double down, we need to really go to work because the demand and the need is still going to be out there over the next few years. And the next thing is, the public, whether it`s making contributions to the housing incentive fund or the public needs to feel good to know we are doing as much as we can and continue to do more if we have to to make sure everybody gets housed appropriately," Anderson said.
Dalrymple is also proposing an additional $150 million in Energy Impact Grants for political subdivisions in oil country and an additional $12 million in Flex PACE buydown funds.
He wants to increase the income threshold to $50,000 for the Homestead Tax Credit and disregard social security benefits to allow more seniors to qualify for housing.
State leaders say they expect the population growth to continue for the next 15 years.