Affordable housing in North Dakota gets a big shot in the arm from the fifth largest bank in the United States.
U.S. Bank in Bismarck makes the single largest contribution in the history of the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund -- $3,000,000, to be precise -- all which is expected to be put to good use to relieve the state's housing crisis.
"We just, as a bank, believe that everyone should have the opportunity to gain affordable housing in the state," says Tim Hennessy, Regional President, U.S. Bank, Bismarck. "To U.S. Bank, thank you. This is going to be an inspiration, I think, to a lot of potential investors in North Dakota, who could take advantage of this tax credit opportunity," says Governor Jack Dalrymple (R-ND).
Contributors, like U.S. Bank, receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit for their contribution. Officials say every dollar is appreciated. Already, the program's two-year funding has received 36 million in requests for 35.4 million in available dollars, largely due to needs in energy-impacted counties, which get housing priority.
Will North Dakota ever reach a point where supply and demand are evenly matched? "We aren't there yet. We're on that upward curve. Another 85,000 households are going to need to be housed in the state between 2010 and 2025," says Jolene Kline, North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.
The Housing Finance Agency says the Housing Incentive Fund alone is not going to be able to meet this type of demand. They're relying on the private sector -- like U.S. Bank -- to help meet the need.
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