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BIA Advocacy Update

North Dakota Primary Election recap

The N.D. primary election was on June 11. This election decides our local officials and is what moves candidates forward to the general election for county, state and congressional positions. The BIA-RRV hosted Candidate Forums for Fargo City Commission, West Fargo City Commission and Horace City Council. We also partnered with the FMWF Chamber of Commerce to host forums open to the public for the above races plus the Cass County Commission race. 

Here are some results:

1. Fargo City Commission: John Strand and Michelle Turnberg

2. West Fargo City Commission: Rory Jorgensen and Amy Zundel

3. Horace City Council: Naomi Burkland and Rachel Dwyer

4. Horace Mayor: Jeff Trudeau

5. Cass County Commission: 

District 1: Tim Flakoll

District 3: Jim Kapitan

District 5: Keith Gohdes and Joel Vettel 

We want to extend our sincere congratulations to those listed above! We also want to thank those that ran. It takes a lot of time and effort and we appreciate their commitment to our communities! Lastly, we want to thank those that have served in various positions that are now nearing the end of their service. We are grateful for their contributions to our communities. 

BIA-RRV leadership at Capitol Hill

BIA leadership and staff were in Washington, D.C. with the North Dakota Association of Builders for the National Association of Home Builders Spring Leadership Meetings/Legislative Conference. Over 900 NAHB members went to Capitol Hill, advocating for sound regulations and pro-housing policies. 

We were excited to meet with U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and staff from U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer and U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong's offices. Amongst the items discussed were: 

  1. Establishing a Canadian softwood lumber agreement.
    1. The U.S. Dept. of Commerce signaled that it plans to raise tariffs later this year on imports of Canadian softwood lumber products from a current rate of 8.05% to roughly 14%. With housing affordability at a historic low and the impacts these tariffs have on affordability, we urged our congressional delegation to put pressure on the Biden administration to enter into negotiations with Canada on a new agreement that will end tariffs on softwood lumber. 
  2. All U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture- financed single-family newly constructed homes are now required to be built to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and HUD-financed multifamily housing to be built to 2021 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2019.  
    1.  This ruling will be detrimental to the housing market, especially the starter market as it will limit access to mortgage financing with little return on investment. Studies show that building to the 2021 IECC can add up to $31,000 and take up to 90 years to realize a payback. A solution we discussed was including a provision in the 2025 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations to prevent HUD from using federal funds to implement the mandate. We also discussed encouraging energy improvements in existing housing stock instead of mandating a costly code in newly constructed homes.
  3. Increased funding and support for the residential construction workforce, including funding for the Job Corps program. 
    1.  There is an average monthly shortage of 400,000 construction workers, and the industry will need to add 2.2 million new workers over the next three years to keep up with demand. The labor shortage further exacerbates the housing crisis by adding to the cost of housing and delays. We encouraged Congress to maintain support for Job Corps and funding the needs of the program for fiscal year 2025. We also touched on immigration reform that will help ease our workforce needs.

Above: BIA-RRV and NDAB contingent that visited Washington, D.C. on the steps of our nation's Capitol. 

BIA opposes ND Property Tax Measure 

Last week, we sent an email regarding our stance on the initiated ballot measure seeking to eliminate property taxes in North Dakota. 

BIA is also part of the Keep it Local coalition, that is working to oppose the measure through a statewide effort. Please visit the site for information and interact with their socials on Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter)

Draft Fargo Growth Plan

There is a first draft available of the growth plan on the website, We encourage you to look at it and submit comments. The deadline to submit comments online was June 21, however if you feel strongly, please submit comments via the online form. 

We have heard that the consultants working on the growth plan will be in Fargo to discuss the plan's status in mid-July. 

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