November 20, 2014
The Novogradac Community Development Foundation (NCDF) annually honors special achievement in the field of community development at the New Markets Tax Credit Investors Conference. NCDF is a program of Novogradac and Company, a national firm focused on providing a broad range of client-centered accounting and consulting services, with major emphases in the affordable housing, community development and renewable energy sectors.
At the 2014 NMTC Conference, the Flint Health & Wellness District, a New Markets Tax Credit project supported in part by Dakotas America, won Honorable Mention for the Real Estate category of the national Novogradac Community Development Awards. This is the third Dakotas America project to win a Novogradac award. In addition to the Flint project, Novogradac previously honored a telecommunications project on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and the Shannon County School District on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, both in South Dakota.
Utilizing a $14 million allocation from Dakotas America, Uptown Reinvestment Corporation and URC-FJ, LLC of Flint, Michigan, are converting a four-block area in one of the most distressed urban communities in the US, into a medical school for Michigan State University, the new Flint Farmers’ Market and a public access area or space for future development. The medical school will focus on public health education. Related research activities are expected to generate programs and prototypes for public health practices in urban areas. The facility in which the school will be located will also include apartment complexes, with a portion of the units offering affordable rent for low-income persons.
The Standing Rock Telecommunications project won Novogradac Community Development Foundation's Rural Project of the Year Award in 2007. The project provided cellular telephone services on the 2.3 million acre reservation, covering four rural counties that are some of the most remote and distressed in the US. The $10 million Dakotas America allocation assisted in the bringing cellular towers, equipment and facilities to provide cellular service for thousands of tribal members.
Winning the Novogradac Community Development Foundation Honorable Mention Award for Rural Project of the Year in 2011 was a project which brought a $31 million NMTC allocation from Dakotas America to two locations on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Shannon County School district was able to construct, own and lease two new facilities to the district. The project helped retain 348 of the reservation's most important jobs, created 93 construction jobs and offered work for seven local Native contracting firms. The reservation's public school district serves 2000 students from severely impoverished homes in the Pine Ridge reservation, which exhibits the most extreme poverty and unemployment challenges in the Badlands of South Dakota, one of America’s most remote geographies.
“These awards recognize the diversity of Dakotas America projects,” said Managing Director Lin Van Hofwegen. “But even more importantly, they recognize the importance of these kinds of projects to the lives they change. The NMTC program makes a difference in places too often forgotten by tradition investment and economic development.”