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Minot resident Bryan Juenger (right) and Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma (left) shake hands after completing paperwork with the Resilient Homebuyer Program that was established through the National Disaster Resilience Program. Kim Whitish of North Dakota Guaranty and Title assisted with the paperwork.
A new program designed to help low- and moderate-income households buy a home in Minot inked its first completed home purchase this week.
The Resilient Homebuyer Program is set up through the National Disaster Resilience (NDR) Program, funded through a Department of Housing and Urban Development Disaster Recovery grant. The program’s goal is to retain, within city limits, Minot residents who were impacted by the 2011 flood by providing gap financing to help residents like Bryan Juenger, 48, and a Minot native, own a resilient, affordable home.
“It was tough, but there was help – and we made it through it,” said Juenger, of his experience living in a home in southeast Minot that flooded in 2011. “And after I found out that my property was needed for enhanced flood protection in the valley, I was grateful to have a cousin tell me about the financing available through this (Resilient Homebuyer) program.”
Juenger signed paperwork September 20 to purchase his new home and take advantage, as a qualified buyer, of the City’s program to receive up to a $60,000 loan at zero interest to cover purchase costs not funded by a conventional mortgage. Juenger said the extra boost in funds made it easier to stay in Minot, take care of his son, and continue to work at his job at MarketPlace Foods.
“With that extra bit of help I can get into a home that isn’t such a burden on my mortgage,” said Juenger.
The City of Minot entered into a sub-recipient agreement with the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) to manage the loan underwriting portion of the program and to minimize staffing costs associated with program management. If the city had chosen to create its own program management staff, the cost would have been five times the amount that is being paid to NDHFA. An attractive element of the program is the opportunity to have the NDR gap financing loan forgiven after 15 years of payments, providing the homeowner meets certain conditions including remaining in the home for the full term.
Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma signed the city’s portion of the paperwork needed to finalize the process for Juenger. Sipma knows how helpful the Resilient Homebuyer Program can be for those living in the valley but who are interested in locating to higher ground.
“I think it’s important that there be options available, like the Resilient Homebuyer Program, for anyone impacted by the flood who would like to live in a more resilient neighborhood, sooner,” said Sipma. “I am glad that Bryan and others are taking full advantage of what is a great program.”
The primary qualifications to participate in the Resilient Homebuyer Program are as follows:
As of early September, the Resilient Homebuyer Program has 10 other applicants who have passed the initial review and are working with their lender to secure the additional financing assistance. The complete set of guidelines and steps needed to fully participate in the Resilient Homebuyer Program can be found at, www.cdbg.minotnd.org, and click on housing.