With the squeeze the energy boom has put on the housing market in North Dakota’s oil-impacted communities…
Posted July 17, 2013
With the squeeze the energy boom has put on the housing market in North Dakota’s oil-impacted communities, finding an affordable apartment might feel a bit like discovering gold. In this case, that discovery would be Prairie Gold Apartments.
“With housing nearly non-existent in Killdeer, we felt it was our duty to take on this project,” said Don Hedger, property developer and Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing (KMM) founder, during an open house for the property. “Our objective was to ensure that there was an affordable housing option for our employees and the employees of other Main Street businesses in the community.”
Hedger utilized several state programs to lower the project costs including the state’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF), a state program capitalized by taxpayer contributions that provides low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing. The program is administered by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA).
A HIF allocation of $1 million allowed half of the units in the 24-unit complex to be reserved for income-qualified households. Hedger added, “We are grateful for the support we received and I’d like to specifically recognize Marathon Oil.” A portion of a $3 million contribution from the oil company was directed specifically to the Killdeer project. Contributions can be targeted to a specific project or community.
An allocation of $192,000 from NDHFA’s Law Enforcement Pilot Program (LEPP) allowed two of the property’s units to be dedicated to housing law enforcement personnel. LEPP was funded with the state’s approximately $3 million share of the Mortgage Servicing Settlement Fund and targeted to communities in oil-impacted areas. Through the Industrial Commission, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem asked NDHFA to pilot the program.
“Because economic growth has put an increased strain on North Dakota’s housing supply, the State Legislature has now made rental units for essential services employees, including law enforcement personnel, a HIF priority,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA acting director. HIF was reauthorized during by the 63rd Legislative Assembly at the request of the Industrial Commission and increased from $15 million to a $35.4 million fund. The program continues to support the development of affordable units for low- to moderate-income households.
Located at 301 Rodeo Drive, Prairie Gold Apartments are all two-bedroom units. Seven apartments are restricted to households earning no more than 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) and five are restricted to households that earn less than 140 percent of AMI. To qualify for the rent restricted units designated for law enforcement personnel, a household’s primary source of income must come from employment in the field of law enforcement. The ten remaining units in the $3.5 million development are market rate.
“NDHFA is proud to partner with Don Hedger and KMM to address the community’s need for affordable housing for its workforce,” said Kline.
KMM, A contract manufacturer of electronic circuit board assemblies, cables, harnesses, and ground support equipment, donated the land on which the Prairie Gold Apartments are situated. Additional key partners in the project include Bank of North Dakota (BND), the City of Killdeer, Dacotah Bank, Roers and Stark Development Corporation.