Posted 2/11/14 (Tue)
By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer
Wolf Run Village was established under a unique set of circumstances and with a unique purpose in mind, according to Katie Walters, the development’s manager. Because of that fact, Walters nominated the project for the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency Housing Production Award in early January. Walters learned last week from the NDHFA that her application was chosen and Wolf Run Village will be the 2014 NDHFA Housing Production Award recipient.
“I was hoping we would be chosen because we are such a unique project,” states Walters.
Walters states that Wolf Run Village is an interesting development, and in some ways the NDHFA does not know what to do with it.
“Most affordable housing projects set aside only a certain number of units as affordable housing, but all the housing in Wolf Run Village is affordable,” states Walters. “The Housing Incentive Fund does a yearly review to make sure housing developments are following their affordable housing guidelines. But we do not fit into them anyway because we do not do what everyone else does.”
Walters states that all the housing in Wolf Run Village was set aside to be affordable, because it needed to be to help the community.
“The people who live in this development cannot afford the current rent prices and the city, county and school district cannot hire people because they cannot pay them enough to be able to afford current rent prices,” states Walters. “This was so important for the city, county and school district to have available so they could hire the people they needed.”
Since being completed in June of 2013, all of Wolf Run Village’s 42 units have become occupied. With the affordable housing the development has made available to the city, county and school district, Walters states that the development houses teachers, secretaries, city workers, county workers and law enforcement officers for the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department and the Watford City Police Department.
“All the money we raised for the project helped us pay for what we were already planning on doing,” states Walters. “And it has allowed the city and county to expand its services and departments and hire more employees. And it has allowed the school district to keep its class sizes small by hiring more teachers. If they did not have this housing option to offer these essential employees, then they may not have been able to come and the positions may not have been able to be filled.”
The NDHFA’s Champion of Affordable Housing Awards recognizes and celebrates the work of individuals, non-profit organizations, public agencies and private housing developers or providers who have made exceptional contributions to affordable housing in North Dakota.
There are two NDHFA Champion Awards, the Leadership Award and the Housing Production Award.
On Feb. 26-27 at the Statewide Housing Conference, Wolf Run Village will be presented with the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) Champion of Affordable Housing Housing Production Award, to recognize its efforts toward the development of affordable housing.