Construction is set to begin shortly on a special, high density workforce housing development in Rapid City.
City officials and developer Neighbor Works broke ground Wednesday for the Village On Monroe affordable housing project.
Five homes are set for construction on one city lot at the corner of Dilger and Monroe. The homes are either one bedroom or two bedroom. The density of homes on one lot are expected to drive the cost down.
City officials say the project is an experiment in housing development and the permitting process.
Joy McCracken is the executive director for Neighbor Works, a non-profit developer that constructing the Village On Monroe. She says the cost of the housing market is pushing people out of homeownership.
“With the cost of homes today, there are many people working in our community who can’t afford to buy a home. So, we want to provide something that’s decent, safe and affordable.”
In June, the Rapid City Common Council established a TIF district to help fund the affordable housing development just north of the Civic Center. Money from the increase in property value will help offset the cost of construction overtime.
Robert Graham is a Rapid City resident and the first to buy a home at the Village On Monroe.
Graham says there’s a fine line between what’s affordable in Rapid City and what is not.
“The houses that I saw that I could afford would have needed tens of thousands of dollars of work. I didn’t want to do that. The houses that I thought were nice were way out of my price range.”
City officials say they plan to start working on the next affordable housing, high density project soon.
At the state level, a summer study commission is taking a closer look at workforce housing availability in South Dakota.