Rep. Scott Louser, District 5, Minot
During the last session, legislators were asked to consider many proposals to help the flood victims from the summer of 2011. The special session in November 2011 gave the assembly the opportunity to create Home Rebuilder's Loan Program through the Bank of North Dakota. That program expired by the time the new session began in 2013. Bills were introduced to reauthorize the program and expand the opportunity for non-owner occupants or residents that were interested in purchasing their FEMA unit.
In working in conjunction with the Bank of North Dakota and the governor's office, I introduced an amendment that authorized those recipients of the original $30,000 loan to apply for an additional $20,000. The amendment also included additional $5 million to supplement the previously unused amount in the program. The financing terms remain the same at the 1 percent rate for not more than 20 years. There was clarifying language regarding actual damages not covered by flood insurance as well as what would happen in the event a borrower sold their home without sufficient proceeds to repay the loan. This expanded opportunity becomes available Oct. 1 but has a deadline to expire Dec. 31.
While the North Dakota Constitution prohibits direct payment to citizens, this low interest loan program could go a long way in helping Minot area residents recover from the flood. It's my hope that those who applied for the original loan consider taking advantage of this program.