MAYVILLE, N.D. – Traill County – halfway between Fargo and Grand Forks – is experiencing growing pains.
A recent housing study indicates more than 200 new housing units are needed in the next five years to keep up with population and household growth in Mayville, Hillsboro and other smaller communities.
“It kind of confirms what we thought. So I can’t say we were real surprised, but we are excited about it,” said Melissa Beach, executive director of the Traill County Economic Development Commission.
The county’s population, estimated at 8,289 this year, is expected to grow by 2.4 percent during the next 15 years, reaching 8,343 by 2020, 8,409 by 2025 and 8,489 by 2030.
A total of 216 new housing units, including 140 owner-occupied and 76 rental housing units, are needed by 2020.
That’s good news, she said, because new housing construction had slowed in recent years.
Hillsboro had two housing developments that filled quickly before the nation’s economic recession about half-dozen years ago. However, Mayville’s Riverwood Addition, a 50-lot subdivision that borders the Goose River, remained less than half full until construction of new homes resumed recently.
The growth may be most dramatic in Hatton, where the population is projected to grow by 4.9 percent, from an estimated 789 today to 828 by 2030. That’s followed by projected growth of 4 percent for Hillsboro, the county seat, which is located along Interstate 29 about halfway between Grand Forks and Fargo, and 3.7 percent in Mayville, home of Mayville State University.
The study, conducted by Hanna:Keeland Associates, a community planning and research firm based in Lincoln, Neb., outlined a five-year action plan that includes new construction, housing rehabilitation and potential demolition of older, substandard housing. The study also addresses the demand for housing for an aging population.
“The most critical housing issues in Traill County are to promote the development of housing for the local workforce and young professionals, affordable to all salary income levels and at a pace that will equal the demand of a consistently growing region,” the study said.
The county economic development commission already had anecdotal evidence of pent-up demand for new housing, especially in Mayville and Hillsboro, the county’s two largest cities.
“Rental units is something we need to focus on to get new people to move here,” she said. “We’re seeing an influx of people, professionals, like attorneys and teachers, who are living in homes that are too small or not up to their standards. People are commuting from Fargo and Grand Forks,” to Mayville and Hillsboro, she said.
She said property owners seldom have a need to advertise their vacant apartments.
The study, which indicated a need for multi-unit housing complexes, such as apartment buildings and townhomes in Mayville and Hillsboro, already has sparked interest among developers.
Beach said it’s possible that at least one apartment complex could be under construction in Hillsboro this year.
The economic development commission is beginning to draft a financing package, which likely will include state and local incentives, to offer to potential developers.
“In North Dakota, the incentives are there,” she said. “We just have to find out what will work best.”
Community needs survey
Here is sample of findings in a housing study, conducted by Hanna:Keelan Associates, a community planning and research firm based in Lincoln, Neb. By community, the anticipated housing demand and population projections are as follows:
– Mayville: 66 units, including 24 owner-occupied and 42 rental units, some of which should be for students at Mayville State University. The population, currently estimated at 1,905, should grow to 1,940 by 2020, 1,963 by 2025, and 1,989 by 2030.
– Hillsboro: 36 units, including 20 owner-occupied and 16 rental units. New housing should include single-family homes, duplex/triplex units, townhouses and general rental apartments. The population, currently 1,615, could be 1,630 by 2020, 1,650 by 2025 and 1,679 by 2030.
– Hatton: 18 units, including 12 owner-occupied and six rentals. Population, currently an estimated 789, should grow to 799 by 2020, 813 by 2025, and 828 by 2030.
– Portland: 18 units, including 10 owner-occupied and eight rentals. Population, currently 607, should be 608 by 2020, 610 by 2025 and 613 by 2030.
– Buxton: 12 units, including eight owner-occupied and four rentals. Population, currently 323, is likely to decrease slowly, to 319 in 2020, 317 by 2025, and 313 by 2030.
– Galesburg: two units, both owner-occupied. Population, currently an estimated 107, is projected to be 106 in 2020 and 104 by 2030.
– Clifford: Two units, both owner-occupied. Population is projected to decrease from 44 today to 42 by 2030.
– Rest of county, including south Reynolds: 62 units, all owner-occupied. Population is expected to grow by 1.2 percent by 2030, from 2,886 to 2,921. (Reynolds is divided by the Grand Forks-Traill County line).