Utility company plan for downtown Fargo nears city commission approval – InForum

FARGO – A unique, upstart real estate developer presents a plan to the City of Fargo to make affordable living in downtown Fargo a reality.

Utilities company Authentic Housing is developing an apartment complex that keeps costs low for its residents with things like childcare, transit pass or car sharing, low-cost catering, on-site nurse, exercise area, housekeeping and laundry service.

Rents would range from around $600 for a studio to less than $1500 for a 4 bedroom.

The planned location is a few blocks from Broadway — and a few blocks north of Fargo City Hall. This is the site that Authentic Housing hopes to turn into an eight-storey building.

They are in a meeting to submit their project to the municipal commission for approval, and they have received help to move this dream forward.

After going through hard times with housing issues early in his life, a Minnesota native promoter is pushing for projects that have helped him along the journey.

“The only reason I’m in decent shape today is because the Grand Forks Housing Authority surprised us on our way down,” said Authentic Housing co-founder Tyrone Grandstrand.

Nearly 30 years after his family lost their home in the 1990s, Grandstrand has assembled a team he believes can free downtown Fargo from overpriced living.

“The gentrification system doesn’t support the local community, it doesn’t support local livelihoods,” said co-founder Jason Nguyen.

Part of their plan is for residents to have cheaper utilities built into them with reasonable rent and childcare.

Grandstrand says their plan will help people save more in a month than the cost of their rent.

Something else that’s different about this plan is the emotion of affordable housing activists on the podium, begging the city to listen.

“It comes down to morality,” said Austin Bieri, Authentic Housing Advocate. “Do we have affordable housing and are we giving people a chance? Or do we let development continue to win out and exploit us all?

The next meeting for Authentic Housing will be February 22. If passed and ultimately approved by the commission, the company says it will fight for affordable living in other cities like Grand Forks and St. Paul.

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