Nearly 50 percent of residents of FEMA temporary housing units responded to a survey that will assist the City of Minot in addressing needs of people still displaced by the 2011 flood.
Along with the housing needs survey, the City of Minot has contracted with its flood recovery consultant, CDM Smith, to conduct an Affordable Housing Action Plan. The goals of the Affordable Housing Plan are to develop realistic and practical strategies to increase the supply of affordable housing in Minot and to provide information to the state Legislature and state and federal government agencies on the city's housing needs.
The consultants will conduct one-on-one interviews and hold focus groups to learn about Minot's housing needs.
"It's no surprise that we need more affordable housing, but what we hope this plan will provide is specific details on recommendations we can start to implement and ways that other state and federal entities can support us in this monumental undertaking," said Cindy Hemphill, city finance director.
Housing specialists with CDM Smith will be meeting with mortgage lenders, real estate agents, the city planning office, the city assessor as well as representatives from FEMA, the Minot Air Force Base and Minot State University.
The first two major tasks of the study will be completed in late November to allow the City to share the affordable housing supply and demand analysis information with the 2013 Legislature.
The 20-question voluntary Housing Needs Survey was targeted to those living in FEMA temporary housing units in early August and provided the following information.
- 610 surveys, or roughly half of those given out, were returned. Not everyone answered every question.
- 407 respondents were homeowners and 199 were renting property at the time of the 2011 flood.
- Of those who indicated the size of their household, 401 surveys were for households of either one or two people. The average household size was 2.3 people. Responses showed 177 households have at least one person who is over 65 years of age.
- 560 surveys returned indicated their income level, based on a percentage of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's median family income, which is $61,300 for a family of four in Ward County in 2012. Results showed 385 of the surveys were from households making at or less than 80 percent of the median family income, making them eligible for low- to moderate-income activities within HUD's guidelines.
- More than half of 404 responding homeowners, or 212, living in a FEMA temporary unit have a mortgage on their flooded property. Nine indicated their properties are in foreclosure.
- More than 400 homeowners indicated plans for their home are: repair, 225; already demolished, won't rebuild, 58; under footprint of future flood protection and waiting for buyout, 31; want to tear down and rebuild, 21; want to sell and buy another home in Minot, 12; want to sell and move away from Minot, 3; other, 49; don't know, 10.
- 263 respondents have a plan to reoccupy their home, while 83 have no plan to reoccupy. Of those planning to reoccupy, 158 plan to do so within six months, 42 within nine months to a year and 65 are unsure.
- Based on 355 responses, the average total amount provided by FEMA, the Small Business Administration, Bank of North Dakota or other sources for rebuilding was $60,473.
- 189 survey responses from renters indicated that the average monthly rent being paid prior to the flood was $527. The range was $10 to $1,375.
- Nearly 200 respondents who reported they were unsuccessful in finding another rental unit listed the problem as: no unit in price range, 73; no vacant units available in Minot, 52; other, 72; no vacant unit outside of Minot, none.