Improving Quality of Life

Quality of life can be improved when people have available, affordable, and accessible housing options throughout the state.

Housing is more than just shelter. A home, whether it is a detached house, an apartment, or a mobile home, is where families raise their children, older adults want to age in-place, and ill or disabled people may feel most comfortable. Individuals of all ages and families need safe, stable homes and neighborhoods for optimal physical and mental health today, as well as to flourish tomorrow. Our communities need stable neighborhoods where individuals and families can put down roots and create greater attachment and social capital.

What's happening

  • North Dakota had a much lower proportion of households that were cost-burdened than the U.S. in 2016 (22.5% compared to 32.4%, respectively).
  • Differences exist by geographies, such as metropolitan areas. In 2015, a smaller proportion of households were cost-burdened in non-metropolitan areas than were in metropolitan areas (18.5% compared to 25.9%, respectively).
  • Since 1999 the share of households that are cost-burdened has increased in 26 counties; 27.6 percent of residents in Cass and 32.0 percent of residents in Grand Forks counties were cost-burdened in 2015.
  • In 2015, North Dakota had a homeownership rate of 61.7 percent, which was similar to the national rate of 63.0 percent. However, homeownership rates differ throughout the state. Homeownership rates were the lowest in the planning regions IV and V, at 56.6 percent and 55.7 percent, respectively (2011-2015).

Making connections

Housing is more than a roof over our heads; it is often the foundation that enables people to live near jobs, build economic stability, improves child health and family wellbeing, and gain access to good schools and other public services. Families, children, older adults, and the homeless can benefit from safe, affordable, stable homes and neighborhoods. Stable housing improves a child's chance for school success. When communities have stable housing and supportive services, it can increase a person's potential and civic participation, and enable people who are ill or disabled to move forward with productive daily living. Having affordable housing available is important to a strong economy. It reduces worker shortages for employers and transportation problems for workers. Furthermore, concentrations of poverty in neighborhoods make them less stable, decreases property values, and make the areas less desirable for businesses.


Josh Hoper: Through scientific eyes: Building homes and hope with Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity

Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity (LAHFH), located in the Fargo-Moorhead community, serves a number of local communities and is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a global, nonprofit housing organization operated on Christian principles that seeks to put God’s love into action by building homes, communities, and hope. LAHFH is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide by constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman, and child should have a simple, durable place to live with dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

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North Dakota Compass

North Dakota Compass

Compass created by:
Wilder Research

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