From Red River to Oil Patch, ND needs housing; Dalrymple provides plan to boost constructionFARGO — From the Red River in the east to the Oil Patch in the west, North Dakota needs more housing.
By: Erik Burgess , The Dickinson Press
FARGO — From the Red River in the east to the Oil Patch in the west, North Dakota needs more housing.
That was Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s message during a press conference Thursday at a housing complex here.
New housing initiatives being proposed by the governor could lead to $365 million worth of new affordable housing incentives and shared planning resources across the state.
“Western cities, in particular, have never faced this kind of a surge in development,” he said. “We have communities, as you know, that are tripling, quadrupling in size. This is beyond their normal function.”
The governor laid out a multiple phase proposal he and his staff will be tackling in the coming year. It includes asking the Bank of North Dakota to double the size of its statewide housing incentive fund, which provides tax credits for affordable housing.
Rocky Schneider, director of public affairs at the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead, said he thinks Dalrymple’s plan to bolster the housing incentive fund is a good approach.
“I think that (program) has shown a lot of success in addressing the needs of affordable housing,” Schneider said.
Dalrymple said the commitment could result in $240 million in housing projects. He specifically mentioned growth in the Oil Patch, but Schneider said the need has no boundaries.
“The need for affordable housing is across the state,” Schneider said.
Dalrymple also said he will propose putting an additional $12 million into a Bank of North Dakota program called Flex PACE, which works to reduce the interest rate for developers.
Dalrymple said Flex PACE funding is popular among developers, and his planned investment could generate $125 million in private housing development.
He will also direct the Department of Commerce to work with city planners throughout the state to address a “tremendous need for planning services,” especially in the western part of the state.
“We have the talent here in North Dakota, but we need to pool it a little bit,” Dalrymple said. “We need to share it a little bit.”
Going forward, Dalrymple said funding sources still need to be identified. The Flex PACE program is funded through the Bank of North Dakota, but Dalrymple said those funds need to be replenished.