Minot strives for higher standard in public housing

Public housing in Minot, and generally across North Dakota, is in better condition than the national average, according to Minot Housing Authority Executive Director Tom Alexander.

A recent inspection through U.S. Housing and Urban Development scored Minot’s public housing in the mid-90s, he said.

MHA operates 261 housing units, of which 40 are scattered throughout the city. The remainder are apartments at Milton Young Tower.

RSI owns and maintains Henry Tower, where leases are managed by MHA. Individuals and families holding federal housing vouchers also are able to rent housing of their choice.

Other affordable housing is made available to tenants who may or may not be using vouchers. The newest options for low-income tenants include Sunset Ridge, Cook’s Court, Fieldcrest and Washington Townhomes, which are developments of Beyond Shelter.

Alexander said HUD contractors inspect a random sampling of Minot’s occupied public housing units, which is expected to occur again in three years based on the recent inspection results. All commons areas, boiler and mechanical systems also are inspected.

MHA also conducts pre-inspections to address any issues that could show up as deficiencies in the HUD inspection. MHA does its own annual inspections, taking feedback from tenants to identify any concerns and ensure units remain up to standards. Smoke detectors and emergency lighting are key areas that are checked.

In addition, MHA inspects all private housing selected by a voucher holder before it approves a subsidized lease. Units must meet defined Housing Quality Standards and are inspected annually for continued compliance, Alexander said.

“If there is a deficiency, it’s usually minor,” Alexander said. “All the landlords we work with in Minot are very good about fixing any deficiencies.”

More than $15.6 million awarded to support affordable housing in ND

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Committee, Friday announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $15.6 million in funding to support affordable, quality housing in North Dakota. Details of the funding are as follows:

Community Development Block Grants – The funds will help provide quality housing and expand economic opportunities for low- and middle-income individuals and families.

– State of North Dakota – $3,955,356

– City of Fargo – $760,623

– City of Grand Forks – $430,422

– City of Bismarck – $376,992

HOME Program – The funds help expand the supply of quality, affordable housing to low-income families.

– State of North Dakota – $3,005,732

– City of Fargo – $454,741

Housing Trust Fund – The HTF is an affordable housing production program that will complement existing efforts to preserve the quality of affordable housing.

– State of North Dakota – $3,000,000

Emergency Solutions Grants – The funds help individuals quickly re-secure permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness, as well as to invest in homelessness prevention and emergency homeless shelters.

– State of North Dakota – $465,045

Public Housing Capital Fund – The funds are to be used to rehabilitate and develop public housing.

– Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority – $975,714

– Burleigh County Housing Authority – $657,953

– Minot Housing Authority – $515,912

– Housing Authority of Cass County – $256,512

– Housing Authority of the City of Williston – $213,612

– Ramsey County Housing Authority – $141,012

– Rolette County Housing Authority – $123,039

– Barnes County Housing Authority – $92,770

– Mercer County Housing Authority – $73,353

– Traill County Housing Authority – $57,909

– Nelson County Housing Authority – $51,883

– Towner County Housing Authority – $40,948

– Benson County Housing Authority – $32,623

– Emmons County Housing Authority – $29,457

– McIntosh County Housing Authority – $14,549

“It’s important for communities throughout our state to assist those who have fallen on difficult times and may not have a healthy and safe place to call home,” Hoeven said. “Today’s funds will help do just that by investing in quality housing and providing housing opportunities to low-income individuals and families.”