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Lutheran Social Services Housing and NDHFA provide update on senior apartments project in Williston

WILLISTON, ND – Lutheran Social Services Housing and the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) will co-host an open house at the former Williston Junior High School on Monday, June 18. The event begins at 4 p.m. at 612 1st Avenue West and will feature light refreshments.

Lutheran Social Services Housing will update attendees on plans for renovation of the historic building and will reveal some of the architect’s project renderings. Rehab of the facility is scheduled to begin in September, converting the former junior high school building into affordable rental units for households age 62 and older.

“Our organizational goal is to create housing for individuals and families of modest means,” said Jessica Thomasson, program director, Lutheran Social Services Housing. “This building is specifically reserved for low income seniors.”

Rents will be extremely affordable with the aim of enabling Williams County region seniors to remain in or near their long-time home communities throughout their retirement years. The facility will also offer its residents the opportunity to add dining, health and personal care services on a month-by-month basis as they want or need to, without ever locking them in to permanent service packages.

“North Dakota Housing’s financial support leverages other investments, making the development of affordable housing feasible,” said Jolene Kline, NDHFA planning and housing development division director. “Our collaboration with Lutheran Social Services Housing is a great example of how the public and private sector can work together to address a community’s housing needs.”

A $200,000 allocation from the state’s Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) and an allocation of $611,026 in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit credits which is expected to generate about $5.5 million in additional equity will lower the project’s debt requirement, allowing the apartments created to be rented for far less than market rate. The total cost of redeveloping the property is estimated at $8.5 million. NDHFA is the administrator of the HIF and LIHTC programs.

The classic Art Deco building was originally built in the 1931. Once it is completed, Lutheran Social Services Legacy Living, as the development will be renamed, will consist of 28 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedroom apartments.

Lutheran Social Services Housing anticipates that the redevelopment project will be completed by October 2013. They will begin taking rental applications three to four months before the project is completed.

The Industrial Commission of North Dakota, consisting of Governor Jack Dalrymple, as chairman, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, oversees NDHFA.

Lutheran Social Services Housing supports the continued vitality of North Dakota’s smaller communities by providing nonprofit affordable housing and housing-related services, with eight rental housing projects currently completed and under management and an additional seven projects in various stages of development and about 20 more projects in the pipeline. Programs include Lutheran Social Services Legacy Living rental communities for older adults.

Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is a statewide social services agency serving thousands of North Dakotans in need with affordable housing, food, disaster recovery, counseling and therapy and other programs that strengthen individuals, families and communities without regard to clients’ race, religion, gender or economic status.

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