Minot breaks ground on affordable housing project

Construction starts soon in north Minot on a new affordable housing complex whose tenants will include essential service workers.

State and local dignitaries held a ground breaking Thursday for Fieldcrest Apartments, a project of Beyond Shelter that will be managed by the Minot Housing Authority. The $8.3 million development will offer 42 units, of which nine will be reserved for workers employed by a school, medical facility or government agency in an essential public service role.

“We need to be sure that we have a place where these people can live and stay in the community where they are so desperately needed,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said at the ceremony held in a large open lot north of the airport along 36th Avenue Northeast.

A strong economy like North Dakota’s can lift all boats, “but not all boats get lifted at the same time,” Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said, noting that the project is part of an effort “to make sure that nobody gets left behind.”

The project is supported by more than $6 million in state funds. The Housing Incentive Fund provided $2.3 million and an interest rate buydown through the Bank of North Dakota’s FlexPACE Affordable Housing Program. The North Dakota Department of Commerce provided $3.76 million from Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery dollars, and the City of Minot used CDBG-DR funds of $750,000 to acquire land and $100,000 for off-site sanitary sewer extension work.

The benefit of the public participation is the ability to hold rents down, Dalrymple said. Depending on income and family size, Fieldcrest units will rent for $400 to $804 a month.

Fieldcrest is Beyond Shelter’s fourth affordable housing project in Minot. Beyond Shelter, a Fargo nonprofit developer, expects the apartment complex to be ready by June 2015.

Greystone is the prime contractor and EAPC is architect.

Speakers at the ground-breaking included Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, Housing Finance Agency director Jolene Kline, Beyond Shelter chief executive officer Lynn Fundingsland and Minot Housing Authority executive director Tom Alexander.

The project will have 10 one-bedroom, 26 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom units. Nine units are reserved for households earning 30 percent or less of the area median income. An individual earning $13,980 or less would be at 30 percent of median income and would qualify to rent a one-bedroom unit for $400. Another 33 units are reserved for households earning 80 percent or less of the median income, and up to nine project-based Section 8 vouchers will be provided.