One of Senator Heitkamp’s top priorities is addressing North Dakota’s housing shortage and improving access to affordable housing. Our state is in a very different situation than most other states – rather than facing a housing crisis because of the recent recession, North Dakota faces one because of our state’s economic boom. It’s estimated that by 2025, North Dakota will need 30 percent more housing units. As a key member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – which oversees housing policy – Senator Heitkamp is uniquely positioned to tackle this complicated issue, and she is working tirelessly to make sure the state has quality, affordable housing options.
Modernizing and Reforming the Housing Finance System to Benefit Working Families
Senator Heitkamp worked closely with a bipartisan group of senators to introduce strong, comprehensive legislation to reform America’s broken housing finance system. Their bill would protect taxpayers from future economic downturns while responsibly preserving the availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for homebuyers. She was the only freshman senator to help introduce the bill.The legislation has been hailed by leaders on both sides of the aisle as a “very serious effort” and “important bipartisan legislation” in reforming our mortgage finance system.
Senator Heitkamp drafted provisions in the reform legislation to make sure rural communities, like many in North Dakota, receive the resources they deserve, and guarantee that community banks and credit unions have access to the secondary housing market so they can compete and provide long-term mortgages to homebuyers. She also included proposals to make sure rural and Native American communities receive a fair share of funding provided to states, offering them more resources to make affordable housing a reality.
Pushing for More Affordable, Quality Housing Throughout North Dakota
Senator Heitkamp worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to see that new Fair Market Rents were increased to appropriate levels for areas of North Dakota where rents have quickly soared and families need assistance to afford housing. Senator Heitkamp is continuing to have HUD look into this issue so that more North Dakota families could benefit from increased assistance in high-cost areas. Fair Market Rents help low-income households reduce the share of their income that goes to rent.
Senator Heitkamp has also been a vocal advocate in the fight against homelessness, particularly among youth in rural or tribal communities. She reintroduced a bipartisan bill to combat youth homelessness and trafficking that would continue funding for grants to communities across the nation to prevent and respond to youth and young adult homelessness.
Raising Awareness About North Dakota’s Unique Housing Needs
Senator Heitkamp has traveled across the state to raise awareness about the state’s housing crunch, and met with state, local, and federal officials to hear their situations and discuss plans to address unique housing issues across the state. As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Senator Heitkamp rarely misses an opportunity to educate others on North Dakota’s housing crisis and explain why we can’t delay fixing it.
Senator Heitkamp's Recent Work on Housing
|9/4/18||Heitkamp Announces $773,827 in Housing Support for Low-income North Dakotans with Disabilities|
|6/15/18||Heitkamp Tours LaGrave on First Housing Project, Holds Roundtable Discussion on Affordable Housing in Grand Forks|
|6/1/18||Heitkamp Announces Over $2 Million for Nelson County Housing Authority|
|5/31/18||Heitkamp Announces Home Ownership Assistance for Standing Rock Communities|
|5/22/18||Heitkamp Announces Federal Funding Supporting Affordable Housing|
|3/23/18||Heitkamp Announces $20 Million for Programs to Help Vulnerable Kids Remain in Care of Family Member|
|2/14/18||Heitkamp Announces Federal Funding for Native American Housing in ND|
|2/12/18||Heitkamp: Budget Proposal Leaves Rural America Behind|