CAVALIER—As the project sponsor, the Red River Regional Council (RRRC) was recently awarded $162,278 from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Des Moines for funding in the 2014 Round of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) for the Cavalier Housing Rehabilitation Project. The funds were accessed through a FHLB member bank, United Valley Bank. This brings the total awarded to the project to more than $360,000. The City of Cavalier has contributed $11,500 to the project. The Cavalier Housing Rehabilitation Project is being led by the Cavalier Housing Committee, which is chaired by Drew Olafson.
The FHLB grant award was the latest grant award awarded to the housing rehabilitation project which assists low-income families and individuals that would not otherwise be able to afford the cost of repairs. The goal of the program is to bring homes into compliance with federal health and safety standards, as well as state and local building codes. In addition, the program helps preserve and improve the structures to increase longevity and value in the community.
Common repairs include roofing, windows, doors, plumbing, heating, electrical, and safety items. Federal funding sources also require lead paint, floodplain, and historic preservation issues be addressed.
“We are very pleased to be awarded these funds to assist in helping even more residents with much needed rehabilitation to make their homes safe and energy efficient,” said Olafson. “It also allows local contractors the opportunity to work on projects right in their area.”
Staff at the Red River Regional Council has prepared grant applications and works closely with the housing committee established by the city to establish policies to manage the project, oversee the project implementation and award construction bids. In addition to Olafson, other members of the housing committee include: Tom Ford, Darold Johnson, Rachel Morrison, Wayne Puppe, and Corene Vaughn.
Phase 1 of the project started in mid-2014 and Phase 2 will continue into 2016. United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has awarded $100,000 to the RRRC. The Red River Regional Council Board of Directors also recommended funding of $98,000 to the ND Department of Commerce through the Community Development Block Grant program for the City of Cavalier.
Projects with multiple funding sources with different requirements, especially in the areas of floodplain, historical, and lead paint issues, call for extensive working knowledge of the programs to package funding and implement projects on a house by house basis. RRRC staff and the housing committee work closely to meet these requirements on each home.
Currently, nine homes have been identified for rehabilitation, with two of them in process. It is expected that with these FHLB funds and others anticipated to be awarded in 2015, an additional 20 homes can be identified and completed. The average investment for each home is $13,410.
“We see rehabilitation of existing homes as one avenue to maintain a high quality housing stock within our rural communities and focus on maintenance issues that may not otherwise be addressed,” said Dawn Keeley, Red River Regional Council Executive Director. “Given the complexity of funding requirements and multiple funders required, we are the only regional council in North Dakota currently undertaking housing rehabilitation projects.”
Since 2005, the Red River Regional Council has assisted with the completion of similar projects in Walsh County and the cities of Thompson, Drayton, and Grafton, investing more than $1.1 million from local, regional, state, and federal sources in 81 homes owned by low and moderate income homeowners. The Red River Valley Community Action also provided financial assistance to these projects.
Interested Cavalier homeowners can call RRRC staff members Stacie Sevigny or Lori Estad at 701-352-3550 to seek information on eligibility.