As more people move to the Black Hills, more affordable housing is needed

South Dakota News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Whether you’re looking for a house or an apartment, affordable housing is getting harder to find in Rapid City, and South Dakota officials have expressed the need for housing in the area.

More people are moving to the Black Hills each year and with the B-21 Raider coming to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City needs more affordable housing.

“It’s really a national crisis and Rapid City is no exception. According to the Rapid City Affordable Housing Study, we are short on affordable housing units that cost 5-hundred dollars or less,” Michelle Schuelke, Community Enrichment Division Manager, said.

So, the city has teamed up with developers and organizations, including the Black Hills Community Foundation to find a long-term solution.

“So, we started an affordable strategic housing trust fund, we are working to capitalize that right now to build that so that we can have another resource to be used for low interest loans for the development of housing for the workforce,” Liz Hamburg, CEO of Black Hills Community Foundation, said.

Affordable housing in Rapid City means a person should not be paying more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing and utilities.

Developers, like Dream Design are in the process of making that kind of housing available.

“We’re involved in some industrial projects that hopefully will improve the wages even further which really narrows the gap as far as afford ability,” Hani Shafai, CEO of Dream Design, said.

While affordable housing continues to be an issue, the city hopes everyone who comes to town will be able to find a place to call home.

According to the census, 7,000 more people moved into Rapid City between 2010 and 2020.

The Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity also plans to bring more affordable homes to the area. The organization says it wants to build at least 40 new affordable homes as well as repair 110 homes in the Black Hills area by 2027.

Habitat for Humanity also wants to expand its ReStores in Rapid City and Spearfish. The cost for all of these projects is about 10 million dollars. You can participate in a planning study to help gauge the level of support for these projects.

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