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 lower proportion of households that were cost-burdened than the U.S. in 2022 (25.0% compared to 32.5%, respectively).
  • North Dakota ranked fourth among the 50 states for the share of households paying 30 percent or more of their income for housing in 2022 (25.0%). However, 30.6 percent of residents in Grand Forks County were cost-burdened in 2022.
  • In 2022, North Dakota had a homeownership rate of 65.1 percent, which was about the same with the national rate of 65.2 percent. However, homeownership rates range from 43.5 percent in Sioux County to 90.3 percent in Slope County.

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

"The partner families invest 250 hours of labor - "sweat equity" - into building their homes and the homes of others. They also make interest-free mortgage payments which go into a fund that is used to build more houses.
With the generous support of donors and volunteers, LAHFH has made a lasting and meaningful impact in our community by helping local families realize their dreams of home-ownership and furthering Habitat’s goal of simple, decent, and affordable housing."

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Nancy Hodur: 2016 North Dakota Statewide Housing Needs Assessment: A Brief Overview of the Population and Housing Forecast component

"The Statewide Housing Needs Assessment was developed to provide an overview of current conditions and important trends that affect housing dynamics. These trends include historical shifts in population and demographics, and changes in the state’s economy. In addition, the Statewide Housing Needs Assessment makes forecasts of future housing needs based on population projections and household characteristics such as age, income, and homebuyer type."

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North Dakota Compass

Center for Social Research
North Dakota State University

Compass created by:
Wilder Research

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