North Dakota Governor Hosts Housing Update
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple hosted a Housing Update on Tuesday, September 25 in Bismarck, ND. Karla Clark, CFO of CUAD was in attendance as well as representatives from several credit unions, including Darrell Olson, President/CEO of Town and Country Credit Union and Chad Schmidt, Branch Manager from First Community.
Prior to the start of the Governor’s Housing Update Governor Dalrymple hosted a small breakfast meeting with select financial leaders to preview the plans to support the housing industry. Darrell Olson was asked to attend the meeting. Town & Country Credit Union has actively played a role in meeting North Dakota’s housing challenges by offering its members the Bank of North Dakota Rebuilder Loans and by taking part in several participation loans throughout the state. “We were one of the first financial institutions to sign on to process these loans and I’m proud to say that so far our staff has completed more than 200 of the rebuilder loans for our members,” commented Darrell Olson. “Affordable housing is very important and we are looking forward to working with other financial institutions and the Bank of North Dakota to continue serving our communities and members.”
Following the breakfast, the morning update was held and included presentations from Mike Anderson, Executive Director of ND Housing Finance Agency, Eric Hardmeyer, President and CEO of BND, and a panel which included Ward Koeser, the Mayor of Williston.
Governor Dalrymple provided updates on the current and future housing needs within the state and gave glimpses of his proposals for housing related initiatives for the next biennium (2013 – 15).
Among the proposals were the following:
· Dedicating an additional $20 million in tax credits for the Housing Incentive Fund which increases the amount available to $50 million for creation of affordable housing
· Expanding the Homestead Tax Credit which allows for people over age 65 and disabled citizens to apply to have all or a portion of their property taxes paid by the state. The proposed increase – which will disregard social security benefits in the calculation - is estimated to save qualifying property tax payers an additional $20 million in property taxes per biennium and make it more affordable for them to remain in their homes after retirement.
The need for housing is and will become a very important topic with projections showing that the state’s population is expected to grow by 25 percent in the next 13 years to a new, all-time high in 2025 of 841,820 residents. At the heart of the housing need are the communities in western North Dakota where the oil industry continues to attract large numbers of workers.