Dickinson Celebrates Affordable Housing Projects - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Dickinson Celebrates Affordable Housing Projects

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Finding a job in Dickinson is easy, but finding a place to live is not.

     And for essential service workers like police officers and teachers, housing that fits their budget is almost non-existent.

     That's why the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is making an effort to build apartments for people that cities need to keep in town.


The Stark County Sheriff's Department is feeling the effect of the oil boom, in more ways than one.

Deputy Dean Franchuk says, "Before we had some applicants for positions that had to turn it down because they were unable to find housing."

The scarce housing options around Dickinson have sent prices soaring, and that's been a problem for law enforcement officials.

NDHFA Executive Director Jolene Kline says, "We're trying to do as much for law enforcement in oil country as we can, as well as provide that same kind of affordable housing for the teachers and the city and the country employees, as well as our medical personnel."

And what Kline and the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency are doing is building more living spaces for those kinds of workers. Today, the group presented the Patterson Heights Apartments with 24 family-friendly units. Eight of those were set aside for Dickinson Police Officers and Stark County Deputies.

Franchuk says, "We have a few deputies that live in this facility that's behind us that said they like the apartment, it's brand new, they're really nice apartments and they're quite happy with their housing that they've gotten here."

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency also revealed plans for a second affordable housing project. This one will have forty-two rooms...all for seniors ages fifty-five and older who live on a fixed income.

Kline adds, "These 2 units are addressing some of our critical needs out here in Dickinson."

And state officials say they believe these kinds of projects will help bring in, and keep non-oil workers.

Governor Jack Dalrymple says, "I don't need to tell you that right here in Dickinson you are one of the fastest growing counties in the United States of America...It makes a huge difference in holding the community stable during this period of incredible rapid growth."

The senior living community, called Heritage Heights, will begin construction this fall and is expected to be completed in a year.

     The Patterson Height Apartments that are now open have one, two and three bedroom apartments with rent ranging from $575 to more than $1,000.

     The senior apartments will have only one and two bedroom units for $350 to $730.

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