Builders are launching $15 million worth of projects in Sioux Falls to increase the city’s affordable housing options. Most of the funding comes through the state’s housing development authority. The City of Sioux Falls is lending the projects hundreds of thousands of dollars. The two projects appeal to people in different circumstances.
A property named Horizon Place aims to provide 62 affordable housing units for homeless families with children. Crews plan to renovate an existing complex on the north side of Sioux Falls. People eligible to live at Horizon Place will participate in local programs that promote self-sufficiency.
Advocate Cindy Dannenbring is the executive director of Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership. She says homeless parents and children often have only the clothes they are wearing and what they can carry. Dannenbring says they need guidance.
"Even about cleaning an apartment and how you do that – it’s something we all may assume that everyone would know how to do that. That’s not the case. Not everyone knows how to do that, so we work with them on those things," Dannenbring says. "We work with them on parenting. They go to parenting classes."
Dannenbring says participants transition away from assistance as they work to be independent, productive community members. She says a stable home is critical.
Developers in Sioux Falls are also constructing a 48-unit complex for workforce housing. Trinity Point provides apartments for people who make between $14 and $23 an hour.
Mark Lauseng is executive director of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority.
"There are so many people that are rent poor now. They pay more than 30 – or maybe even 50 – percent of their income on rent, and these projects help bring those rents down, so people have additional funds available for food, for clothing, for other things that they need," Lauseng says.
Planners say six buildings will comprise a new complex on the east side of the city – with eight apartments in each building.
Erica Beck with Lloyd Companies says families who qualify for affordable housing there have an advantage. She says the location is near an elementary school, so parents have fewer barriers to getting their kids to class each day.
"It’s also for individuals, not just families, so we have one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. And the appeal in terms of location to those individuals that will be living there in those one-bedroom units is also that it’s located next to Dawley Farm, which is an employment center in and of itself," Beck says.
Beck says recreation, shopping, grocery stores and medical facilities are also close. She says easy access is important for people in income-based apartments.
Housing advocates say improving the lives of low-income workers has a ripple effect in the community. They say people in higher income brackets also benefit in business, because durable housing allows people to fulfill their job responsibilities and contribute to the local economy.
Horizon Place and Trinity Point properties are the third and fourth affordable housing projects the city of Sioux Falls has announced this year.