- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A multimillion-dollar contribution to a state program will help with the construction of affordable housing in North Dakota, state officials said Friday while unveiling the funds.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Jolene Kline announced the $5.3 million contribution from Tesoro Corp., the Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/1MDZDzW ) reported. The money will go to housing projects in Bismarck, Mandan, Dickinson and Watford City.

“This is a problem we knew needed to be solved,” Dalrymple said about the lack of affordable housing. “This program has solved that problem.”

The Housing Incentive Fund, which was created in 2011, is meant to create a mechanism for low-cost financing for developers to construct affordable housing. Contributors get income tax credits matching their investment.

Tesoro has been in business in North Dakota for more than 60 years. The company’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Keith Casey, said that history makes it important to make such contributions.

“Our employees will see the benefits of this,” Casey said.

More than $21 million of $30 million in contributions authorized for the biennium have been collected. Dalrymple said the funds will lead to the construction of housing projects across the state.

Kline said the projects being built through the incentive fund help communities housed fixed-income people and others who serve as police officers and firefighters.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

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