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Sioux Falls joins initiative to improve housing for residents with criminal background

Mayor Paul TenHaken speaks at a press conference Wednesday.
Jordyn Henderson
Mayor Paul TenHaken speaks at a press conference Wednesday.

The city of Sioux Falls will participate in the Just Home Project to improve housing for those impacted by the criminal justice system, city officials announced Wednesday. 

There are only three other communities selected in the United States.

The participation in the project includes a $775,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation.   

Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken says the project is necessary, because residents with a criminal background struggle to find a place to live.

“They want to talk about housing and share stories, how hard it is, if you have a record, to try and find housing or try to find a landlord that will take a chance on you," TenHaken said. "And if they do take a chance on you, do they take advantage of you? Because of your status, because they know how hard it is for you to get housing? So those rents can creep up and up and the care for the unit can get lower and lower. People are afraid to say something because where are they going to go?”

The planning process will include community partners developing a plan based on community engagement and other programs.

Jordyn is a videographer with SDPB.