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Posted on: March 6, 2017

City Council approves first allocation of National Disaster Resilience funds

20170303Park South.jpg

The first major allocation of the City of Minot National Disaster Resilience Program has been approved by City Council. At Monday night's meeting Aldermen voted unanimously to approve a $1.85 million dollar allocation of NDR Funds to Park South, a $6 million dollar affordable housing project in Minot.

“This is a great first step to the program and a good pilot program for our Affordable Housing Project,” says City of Minot Planning Director and Chief Resilience Officer, Robert Davis. “Just a fraction of the dollars allocated toward affordable housing are being used for a facility that will provide 30 affordable housing units."

The proposal, which was a part of the original application for the National Disaster Resilience Competition submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2015, is the first piece to the NDR Program puzzle. The proposal is to renovate and expand an existing building in southeast Minot. The affordable units will remain rent controlled at HUD and state standards to serve low to moderate income residents for a minimum period of 30 years..

“This structure, which hasn’t been touched in 30 years, will get a much needed facelift, and will ultimately improve the quality of affordable housing units in the city.” states Davis. "According to our agreement with developers, the units will also be updated to meet ADA requirements."

The City of Minot was awarded $74.3 million from HUD in January 2016 as part of a national competition. As part of the application the City identified several project areas and improving affordable housing is a major component.

“We have 34 million dollars reserved for affordable housing.” explains Davis. “If we can leverage this type of project for that amount of money, we can do great things as we progress with this program.”

Due to HUD regulations, the City must spend the $74.3 million, as proposed, by September of 2022. The NDR program focuses on these three projects.

Project #1 - Reduce flood risk and improve water management ($21 million)

Project #2 - Build affordable, resilient neighborhoods ($43 million)

Project #3 - Foster economic resilience and diversification ($5 million)

The remainder is allocated to planning and administration costs.

Multi and single family residences are cornerstones of the affordable housing project, but additional activities in that category will be allocated to build a downtown gathering space and a family shelter for Minot. Due to a recent shift in economy, an affordable housing study was conducted and presented to City leaders. The study concluded additional affordable housing is still a need of the community. The full report is available at www.minotnd.org/476/Create-More-Affordable-Housing

“We've identified and confirmed a need, now we need to get the ball rolling.” Says City Manager, Tom Barry. "Park South is only a piece of the things we hope to do, but since it is the first true piece it's very significant to the program."

NDR Funds are not intended nor permitted to build any flood control structures but may be used to purchase homes to help remove citizens from harm's way. Those allocations fall under project#1 of the NDR Program

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