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Contributions outpace cap for ND housing fund

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm •  Published: January 6, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Contributions have exceeded a $20 million state income tax credit cap set by the Legislature to subsidize construction of low-income dwellings in North Dakota, officials said Monday.

The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency's low-income housing development program is aimed largely at the state's booming oil patch and gives individual and business donors a dollar-for-dollar tax credit.

The Legislature last year approved $20 million in tax credits for the program and $15.4 million from the state general fund, which is supported by taxpayers. The deadline to capitalize the fund was through 2014, and its goal was reached a year early.

Agency Director Jolene Kline said about $4 million in contributions were submitted during the last two weeks of 2013 and at least $400,000 in checks had to be returned to donors.

"This shows tremendous support by North Dakota taxpayers," Kline said. "People are interested in addressing the state's housing issue."

North Dakota's robust economy lead by its soaring oil production in the western part of the state has resulted in a shortage of housing, skyrocketing home prices and rental rates that have risen to the level of some of the nation's largest cities.

Kline said the need for affordable housing for seniors and low-income North Dakota residents has swelled well beyond the state's oil-producing areas.

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