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More Minot residents and neighborhoods are now eligible to participate in a gap financing program designed to assist low/moderate income residents in Minot who were impacted by the 2011 flood.
The program, funded by Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant National Disaster Resilience, has grown in demand. That demand, coupled with an improving single family real estate market, prompted the City of Minot to expand the eligible areas of the city and eligibility of additional low/moderate income Minot residents.
“We have closed on our 20th financing package, which means we have already invested $1.2 million into the city’s real estate market to help low/moderate income residents move out of the flood zone and into resilient neighborhoods throughout Minot,” said John Zakian, NDR program director for the City of Minot. “The interest in the program continues to grow with three more closings on pace to happen before the end of the month.”
The program was established in 2019 to help low/moderate income residents who were impacted by the 2011 flood or whose home is being acquired through the buyout program for flood control projects. The program provides up to $60,000 to purchase a home in the city but outside the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood zone. Eligibility has been expanded to include children in families whose homes were flooded in 2011 and are now adults seeking their own home, and anyone who can prove they lost their job because of the flood.
The CDBG-DR Action Plan approved by HUD in 2016 required that the gap financing be utilized within city limits in neighborhoods outside the flood zone that met a set of resilient standards, including access to parks, shopping, all utilities, and sidewalks. Until 2020, neighborhoods within city limits but on the outskirts of town did not met the resilient standards as construction stalled because of the real estate market downturn.
City CDBG-NDR staff recently met with real estate brokers and lenders to gather input regarding the current real estate market. There was consensus that it would be helpful to expand the gap financing eligibility. There has been a significant increase in new home construction in these neighborhoods in 2020, which has resulted in more neighborhoods being eligible for the gap financing program.
“In recognition of this new construction, in support of these new neighborhoods, and to expand the opportunity for LMI households to own a home outside the flood zone, the eligibility standards have been adjusted to include more neighborhoods,” Zakian said. “The adjusted guidelines are posted on the City of Minot’s website under NDR and will be circulated to real estate brokers and lenders serving Minot.”
There is $3 million set aside in NDR funds for the program, which would serve 25 to 30 more LMI homebuyers. More funds could be added if the current $3 million is spent. Any Minot resident who believes they may qualify and who is interested in purchasing a home is encouraged to contact their real estate broker or lender.