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Bell State Bank supports affordable senior housing

Bell State Bank & Trust contributed $500,000 to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) in August. Most of the bank’s contribution was targeted to a Fargo development that will provide housing for low-income individuals age 55 and older.

“Bell State Bank & Trust is pleased to be able to support Beyond Shelter’s new senior housing project and, in turn, the needs of our community,” said Michael Solberg, president and chief operating officer of Bell State Bank & Trust. The City of Fargo has identified affordable senior housing as a critical need in the community, especially housing for extremely low income and frail elderly households.

Capitalized by contributions from state taxpayers, HIF offers low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing when they set-aside units for essential service workers and low- to moderate-income households. The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) administers the program.

“I thank Bell State Bank & Trust for its contribution,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA acting executive director. “By supporting HIF, the bank advances the state’s efforts to provide affordable housing for all North Dakotans. I encourage more businesses to support the fund so we can fully capitalize the program and move the projects it supports forward.”

Beyond Shelter, Inc. received a $1.14 million HIF commitment from NDHFA for the North Sky I Apartments. Bell State Bank & Trust earmarked $350,000 of its contribution to the project. The balance of the bank’s contribution was directed to senior housing projects in Dickinson and Minot. Contributions to HIF can be targeted to specific projects or designated for general use in a community or region.

“The need for affordable housing is one of North Dakota’s biggest challenges,” said Kline. “By contributing to HIF, businesses and individuals can help address this need and have a say in how their state tax dollars are spent.”

The state program was reauthorized during the 2013 legislative session and NDHFA was given a $15.4 million general fund appropriation. The agency was authorized to issue $20 million in state tax credit certificates to further capitalize the fund.

Individuals and businesses that contribute to HIF receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit. NDHFA has received $6.7 million from contributors since May. The agency needs to raise an additional $13.3 million.