With the dissolution of the proposed downtown mixed use FiveSouth project in Bismarck, $3 million for affordable housing development is up for grabs as part of the state Housing Incentive Fund.
While a group of local investors is aiming to restructure and save the downtown development, the money granted by the state for the affordable apartment portion had to be returned. And with state lawmakers opting not the refund HIF, the FiveSouth funds make up the majority of the $3.75 million left in the program’s coffers.
At the close of the application period Sept. 30, eight projects, accounting for a total of $4.6 million in requests, are vying for the last of the available money.
“So we’re over by about $1 million,” said Jolene Kline, head of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency which hands out HIF funding, explaining the program will not be able to fund all of the requests.
Three of the eight proposed projects are in Bismarck.
CommunityWorks and Mountain Plains Equity Group want to develop 35 senior housing units in Bismarck called Century Cottages. The group is asking for $400,000 from the state to fund a portion of the $8.3 million project.
The Schuett Companies Inc., which is in the process of trying to purchase Patterson Place Apartments in Bismarck’s former Patterson Hotel, is asking for $600,000 to cover a portion of its $17.2 million investment.
Burleigh County Housing Authority is also seeking funds for its proposed homeless housing project, Edwinton Place, and is asking for $400,000. Total investment in Edwinton Place would be nearly $9.6 million for 40 units.
Outside of Bismarck, there are funding requests for a 28-unit apartment complex in Grand Forks, another Grand Forks project that would include 25 low-income units, 30 units for the physically disabled and homeless in West Fargo, rehabilitation of 32 apartments for the disabled in Ellendale and 20 new units of affordable housing in Washburn.
“This was more of a gap fill round because of the limited amount,” said Kline, adding that many of the companies will have to get the majority of their funding from other sources to make their projects viable.
Some of those other funding sources include the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and the National Housing Trust Fund.
Locally, Edwinton Place is seeking $813,000 in federal tax credits, Patterson Place Apartments is seeking $850,000 and Century Cottages is seeking $677,500. The other requests are for projects in Grand Forks and Fargo.
From the trust fund, Edwinton Place is seeking nearly $1.6 million, Patterson Place is seeking $1.5 million and Century Cottages are seeking nearly $1.6 million, with the remainder of requests being for Fargo and Grand Forks projects.
It generally takes NDHFA staff a month to score the applications, but because of the competitiveness for this particular funding round, 26 applications from 14 projects, it may take longer, the agency said.