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Affordable Housing

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Look in about any corner of Minot and you're likely to see new apartment buildings and houses under construction.

It's been going on for a couple of years now - and all the building may finally have caught up with the demand.

Bonnie Campo reports that developers and realtors are saying there may now be too many places to live.

(Doug Pfau, President Magic City Apartment Association) "The first quarter of 2014 the Magic City Apartment Association reported five percent vacant units, and the fourth quarter of 20-13 the vacancy percent was 4 and a half percent.

Pfau said that's twenty less units than the beginning of the year, and the reason apartments aren't being rented is because too many were built.

(Doug Pfau, President Magic City Apartment Association) "There's been a huge number of apartments built in the last two years. The Magic City Apartment Association use to gather data for about four-thousand apartments, but now that number is estimated to be between eight and nine-thousand units."

The grass roots group Vision West has organized all around the state to say that while there may be housing-- many can't afford it.

(Deb Nelson, Vision West Manager) "What we need is affordable safe housing. That's the issue. There seems to be housing, the housing cost are just exorbitant. All across all the nineteen counties certain counties higher than others, but it's causing a crowding out effect where people who have lived in houses where they have lived for years and years and years, you either can't afford to live there, they are being forced out.

 

Pfau says for houses that might be true as some properties increased dramatically since the flood and population boom. But, not apartments. You have to make personal budgets fit the amenities offered.

(Doug Pfau, President Magic City Apartment Association) "The common belief on the street is that there's not affordable apartments available, but that's simple not true. There are some lower number priced apartments currently available."

He works for the apartment group IMM and says they have one bedroom units available for about five to six hundred a month. Pfau thinks rent may drop some, but has reached a balance for the time being. As for the rest of the state Vision West says they are determined to find a solution for families who need more space.

Realtor.com reports over eight-hundred homes available in Minot.

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