Shocker: Developers Gobble Up Oil Patch Housing Subsidies
Should it surprise us that, in the oil patch where housing prices are through the roof, that subsidies for housing development proffered by the state have been almost maxed out?
The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency gave almost $5.46 million to eight projects in the last round of grants, and money from the $15 million Housing Incentive Fund could soon run out, officials said earlier this week.
Seven projects applied for HIF for the June 30 round. If all are approved, the NDHFA will have committed almost all its funds it could allocate under the North Dakota Legislature, NDHFA Executive Director Michael Anderson said.
The agency has received $6.8 million in contributions for the dollar-for-dollar tax credits but hasn’t denied any applications, Anderson added.
“At this point, we have been able to solicit enough projects to fully fund the program,” he said. “Now we are still trying to collect contributions into the Housing Incentive Fund so that we can give them the money to go to work.”
Rents are so high in western North Dakota that some of the state’s political leaders are talking about rent control with a straight face, and we’re spending millions on subsidizing the property developers.
It’s called the Housing Incentive Fund (HIF), but what more incentive to property developers need in a market where demand for housing, and thus the opportunity for profit, is through the roof? And somehow we’re all supposed to believe that this rank crony capitalism is altruistic. Because it’s “low income housing” or something like that.
You know how you make housing more affordable? You don’t subsidize low-income housing. You just build more housing, period.
Programs like this don’t do anything but slow down property development as would-be investors hold back on developing to see what sort of a deal they can wrangle at the cost of the taxpayers.Tags: bakken, housing incentive fund, North Dakota News, Oil Patch, subsidies