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House approves $200 million to spur housing projects across the state

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South Dakota House lawmakers are approving $200 million in loans and grants to help with housing infrastructure.

Similar proposals failed in the chamber several times in the last few days.

The funding includes $50 million from federal coronavirus relief packages. The state will spend $150 million from the general fund. Some estimate it’s one of the largest appropriations the state has ever made.

Representative Caleb Fink is a Republican from Tripp. He says there’s little housing available for current residents and others wanting to move to the state.

“We’ve got people in my generation, right, 10 years out of high school—they’ve gone off and gone to college, maybe gone off and done professional programs, whatever the case is. They’ve had a life somewhere else and gone, ‘You know what? Through all this chaos, we want to go home. We want to back home to our hometown in South Dakota,'" Fink says. "Here comes the problem, if they want to come home, we don’t have the housing available.”

Seventy percent of the grants and loans will go to housing infrastructure projects in cities under 50,000. The other 30 percent will go to projects in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

The dollars are meant to reduce the cost of getting a housing project started.

Housing infrastructure includes things such as sanitary and storm sewers, and curbs and gutters.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.