Rental rehab

Thirty housing units in Minot could become available to low- to moderate-income renters through a program designed to help landlords rehabilitate or rebuild flood-damaged properties.

The city received 23 applications in its Small Rental Rehabilitation and Reconstruction program, funded with Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery money. Of those applications, three were later withdrawn and 17 were determined to be eligible to proceed to the next step. Those 17 properties include 30 housing units.

The program was open to owners of one- to four-unit rental properties that received significant damage from the 2011 flood. The program provides zero percent, five-year, forgivable loans to make repairs or reconstruct properties. In exchange, landlords must lease to low- to moderate-income households at affordable rates.

The maximum loan amount for a single-family property is $75,000. For a multiple-family property, the loan can be up to $175,000, with an additional $15,000 if the landlord is an occupant of one of the units.

The program’s estimated cost of construction is about $1.9 million, said Randy Irwin, program director with CDM Smith, the city’s consultant. Landlords may put more money into the construction if the program loan doesn’t cover the full cost.

Fourteen of the units are in the process of having work orders written. Those could come back in a week or so, with construction to start in July, Irwin said. Sixteen other units remain under review.

Interim city manager Cindy Hemphill said it is hoped that construction will have started on all eligible units by October and to have all units finished by the end of the year.

For the few cases in which residents already occupy the premises, the program includes provisions for temporary relocation during construction. Generally, existing residents must meet the income eligibility guidelines for the unit to qualify for the rehabilitation and reconstruction program.

Under the Department of Housing and Urban Development rules, income cannot exceed 80 percent of the county median. Eighty percent is $37,250 for a single person or $53,200 for a family of four.

Rents cannot exceed limits set by HUD, which include $486 a month for a one-bedroom, $641 for a two-bedroom and $945 for a three-bedroom.