- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The limits for federal home loans in seven western North Dakota counties have been increased to reflect the region’s soaring housing costs.

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on Wednesday said the higher Federal Housing Administration loan limits will allow more low-to-middle income families, first-time home buyers and seniors to afford a home.

A housing shortage in the state’s oil patch has led to skyrocketing rents. Williams County, for example, has seen a 135 percent increase in median rent for a two-bedroom apartment over the past six years.

Heitkamp says the higher loan limits will go into effect in January. The counties that will see the change approved by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development are Burleigh, McKenzie, Morton, Oliver, Sioux, Stark and Williams.

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