One of Senator Heitkamp’s top priorities is addressing North Dakota’s housing shortage. 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% more housing units. As a key member of the 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.
Reforming the Country’s Housing Finance System
Senator Heitkamp helped introduce strong, comprehensive legislation to reform America’s broken housing finance system. With a bipartisan group of Senators, she crafted a bill to protect taxpayers from future economic downturns while responsibly preserving the availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for homebuyers.
After the housing market collapsed in 2008, taxpayers were forced to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Heitkamp’s bill would help prevent that from happening in the future by replacing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a more competitive and better capitalized private sector system that still encourages affordable homeownership. 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.
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 worked to authorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) to provide the availability of safe, affordable housing on North Dakota’s reservations.
Raising Awareness About North Dakota’s Unique Housing Needs
Senator Heitkamp has traveled across the state to raise awareness to 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 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 cannot wait to fix it.
Senator Heitkamp's Recent Work on Housing
|3/23/18||Heitkamp Announces $20 Million for Programs to Help Vulnerable Kids Remain in Care of Family Member|
|1/29/18||Heitkamp Announces Federal Funding for Housing Rehabilitation|
|1/23/18||Heitkamp Announces Federal Funding to Support Fair Housing in North Dakota|
|10/19/17||Heitkamp: North Dakotans Deserve Better Than a Budget That Punishes Our Families, Seniors, and Rural Communities|