Moving more affordable housing into Sioux Falls

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 10:01 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -You may have seen some houses being moved across Sioux Falls recently. Those houses are part of a partnership between the city and the non-profit, South Eastern Development Foundation with the goal of offering more affordable housing options as Sioux Falls continues to grow.

Sioux Falls city officials want to add 1,000 new affordable housing units by 2022. Currently, they are at about 350 units.

“If you talk to most realtors in town they would say where there’s a real need for housing is somewhere in that $150,000 to $200,000 range. So that’s kind of our target,” said Lynne Keller Forbes, Executive Director for the South Eastern Development Foundation.

However, The current cost to build a new home is around $230,000 according to Chellee Unruh, the housing manager for Sioux Falls.

“With the cost of construction continuing to rise it’s harder and harder to build affordable homes in a new construction setting,” said Unruh.

So the city has found another way to cut down on costs to reach their goal.

“So looking at, you know taking an existing home that’s already been built, moving it and then rehabbing it for someone to be able to move into has made financial-economic sense in this current environment,” said Unruh.

Some homes in Sioux Falls need to be removed for various reasons, such as the homes in the Lotta/Rose area that are in a floodplain. Also, the homes near 49th and Holbrook that are being moved due to the city’s storm drainage program.

The city purchases these homes then gives them to the South Eastern Development Foundation to relocate instead of being torn down.

“We’ll go in and gut them and rehab them and then resell them to a family,” said Keller Forbes.

This a gives more people the opportunity to purchase a house.

“Which is really stable from a lot of different perspectives if you look at the studies. Homeownership, kids that have their own homes, do much better in school. All those kinds of social benefits that come from homeownership. So it’s a win-win partnership,” said Keller Forbes.

Right now, the South Eastern Development Foundation has ten houses from the city that they are working on.

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