WEST FARGO — Early Monday, Jan. 11, bulldozers were making history in West Fargo as former townhomes were razed as the city and Housing Authority of Cass County moves into Phase Three of its nearly $30 million affordable housing redevelopment plan.

Phase three includes demolishing 24 50-year-old housing units on the 900 block of West Sheyenne Street.

The 38 new townhomes and row houses will become Sierra Townhomes and will serve income-qualified families and individuals. The complex will include one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom homes, each with attached garage, laundry and outdoor greenspace with parks and lighted paths.

“Sierra Townhomes is a much-needed update to the affordable housing inventory in the area,” HACC Executive Director Blake Strehlow said in a release. “This project will allow Housing Authority of Cass County to serve an additional 14 families, and do so in modern, energy-efficient buildings with much needed amenities.”

Phase One of the project began in November 2019. Cass County Housing Authority and Beyond Shelter, an affordable housing developer, began the two-phase plan to replace the low-rise housing complex at 205 8th Ave. W. in West Fargo.

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Sixty public housing apartments were demolished to make way for 85 apartments known as Monterey & Brighton Place Apartments.

Monterey & Brighton Place Apartments have 85 one- and two-bedroom apartments for income-qualified seniors age 62 and older.

The former low-rise plus the high-rise complex opened in 1968 to serve the elderly but later added other low-income residents.

The low-rise complex was in need of upgrades and remodeling and the Housing Authority decided it would be more cost-effective to demolish the aging property and build new.

The West Fargo City Commission was happy to approve the project after finding the city is in need of public housing. A 2016 North Dakota Statewide Housing Needs Assessment showed in 2014 there were 1,473 cost-burdened owner-occupied housing units in West Fargo, or 16.1 percent of all West Fargo homeowners were spending 30 percent or more of their household income toward housing costs. About 1,397 renters were also paying 30 percent or more of their household incomes to housing costs.

The apartments are still accepting applications and residents can expect to begin moving in by July.

HACC will open a waiting list for Sierra Townhomes this spring. HACC said it will advertise the townhomes in the West Fargo Pioneer once the waitlist opens.

The project is being funded by low-income tax credits and rental assistance will be provided through project-based vouchers under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 program.

More information can also be found by calling (701) 282-3443 or online at info@casscountyhousing.org.