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City Council to sponsor CDBG application for Jamestown project

The Jamestown Senior Apartments project includes developing two 36-unit projects that target affordable senior housing.

legacy center exterior
Beyond Shelter is negotiating the ownership of 20 affordable senior housing units inside the Legacy Living Center, according to Dan Madler, CEO of Beyond Shelter.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved sponsoring a Community Development Block Grant application for the Jamestown Senior Apartments project.

The City Council’s action on Monday, Oct. 3, also authorizes the mayor and the city administrator to apply for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the North Dakota Division of Community Services.

Dan Madler, CEO of Beyond Shelter Inc., requested the support of the city of Jamestown to be the sponsoring entity of the CDBG application for the Jamestown Senior Apartments project.

“The funding source that I am pursuing is CDBG funds, but it is CDBG funds that flow through the governor’s office,” he said. “I have received … word that the governor is very interested in investing a significant amount of CDBG money into the projects … and to move that forward, we would need a local entity to be a sponsor. … Regarding the dollar amount we are talking about (more than $1.6 million) which there are funds within that to help with administration work that comes with the funds.”

Beyond Shelter is a North Dakota nonprofit developer of affordable housing, Madler said. He said Beyond Shelter has developed quality housing projects across the state in Bismarck, Burlington, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and West Fargo.

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The Jamestown Senior Apartments project has three components. When the project is complete, there will be two additional buildings with 36 units each targeted toward affordable senior housing.

The first component involves the Legacy Living Center. He said Beyond Shelter is negotiating to become the owner of 20 existing affordable senior housing units inside the Legacy Living Center. He said the 20 units get federal assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program.

“Because of the 202 rental assistance that comes with some rental restrictions, that make the development and/or redevelopment of the overall project, our Legacy Living Center, complicated because it’s layered with federal regulations,” Madler said. “Basically our intent is to take over the ownership of the (20 units), continue to operate and support the 20 units of affordable senior housing.”

A little less than half of the Legacy Living Center has rental restrictions because the 20 units get federal assistance from the Section 202 federal program, Madler said. The other part of the Legacy Living Center has no Housing and Urban Development programs restricting the use of the property.

The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website. The website says the program provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking and transportation.

The second component of the project includes using CDBG funding to acquire a site or two to develop high-quality affordable senior housing in Jamestown, Madler said. He did not name a site but said he’s had conversations with a local real estate agent and other representatives in Jamestown to identify a site or two.

Once the project of developing a senior housing project is complete, the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program’s rental assistance that is used for 20 units in the Legacy Living Center would be transferred to the new senior housing unit.

“The new building is proposed to be 36 units,” Madler said. “Of those 36 units, 20 of those would have rental assistance.”

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Beyond Shelter will also work with existing tenants in the Legacy Living Center to move them to the new senior housing facility. Once the existing tenants are moved to the new housing facility, the entire Legacy Living Center will not be restricted by the regulations and requirements of participating in a government program.

“I know there are negotiations ongoing for a future owner and hopefully there will be some public announcement in the weeks ahead,” Madler said. “By removing that layer of subsidy and/or regulation, it would really allow that Legacy Living Center to be fully developed for the community and at the same time, you would be preserving that rental assistance and transferring it to a brand new building and actually to a building that has more than 20 units."

The third component of the project includes developing another 36-unit project that will target affordable senior housing.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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