BISMARCK - A $1.25 million contribution from Gate City Bank this month has lifted the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund to $11.21 million.
Administered by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, the fund provides low-cost financing to developers of affordable multi-family housing. Taxpayers can contribute in exchange for dollar-for-dollar tax credits. The state Legislature authorized up to $15 million in tax credits for 2011 and 2012.
So far, 353 tax-paying individuals, businesses and financial institutions have contributed.
Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Housing Financy Agency director Mike Anderson accept a ceremonial $1.25 million check to the Housing Incentive Fund from Gate City Bank executive vice president Blaise Johnson Thursday at the ground-breaking of an affordable housing project in Williston.
Dignatories and local officials break ground Thursday in Williston on a 74-unit affordable housing complex being developed by the Williston State College Foundation to house local employees providing essential community services. The project is receiving $1 million from the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund.
Individuals account for 317 of the contributions and $2.64 million. Contributions range in size from $25 to $150,000.
Financial institutions have made 13 contributions totaling nearly $3.2 million, and businesses have given 23 contributions totaling $5.4 million. The top contributors have been Marathon Oil, $2.5 million; MBI Energy Services, $2.2 million; Gate City Bank, $1.5 million; and US Bank, $1.2 million.
The tax credits of $3.8 million that remain must be claimed before the end of the year.
Contributions can be targeted to a specific project, community or region.
Gate City Bank directed more than half of its contribution to a 74-unit Williston State College Foundation project that broke ground Thursday. The project is receiving $1 million from the fund. The goal is to provide affordable housing for employees who provide essential services, such as teachers, nurses and city public works employees. The complex will have 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor.
Gate City's remaining contribution largely will go to support a family-friendly development in downtown Williston, an apartment complex for people with disabilities in Bowman and senior-friendly housing in Devils Lake. A portion of the bank's contribution remains undesignated and will support future housing fund projects.
Ninety percent of the fund is set aside for use in energy and disaster-impacted areas of the state.
Eligible projects include new construction of multi-family housing, substantial rehabilitation of uninhabitable residential structures or the adaptive reuse of existing non-residential buildings to create housing units.
To date, 23 projects in 13 communities have funding commitments valued at $14.2 million. Fourteen of the projects have secured their commitments, while nine continue to seek contributions to the fund to complete their commitments.
Of the 630 units proposed to be developed, 387 will be income restricted and 243 will be at market rates that remain affordable.
Minot projects include 32 new units at Minot Artspace Lofts, $200,000; 30 new units at Minot Townhomes, $200,000; and seven rehabilitated units at Oakwood Court, $155,600.
Other area projects include two with 24 units in Kenmare, two projects with 36 units in Crosby; a 24-unit project in Killdeer; two projects with 24 units in Ray; two projects with 124 units in Watford City; and three projects with 183 units in Williston.
The Housing Finance Agency received three applications in the final funding round that closed on Aug. 31. About $750,000 is available, which is not enough to fund remaining applications, the agency reports.