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Foundation seeks to address Rapid City’s lack of affordable housing

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:13 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Back in 2018, 62-percent of the people in Rapid City who made less than 35-thousand dollars lived in unaffordable housing, that’s according to Black Hills Area Community Foundation.

Since the pandemic, they say the need for housing is even more critical.

According to the foundation, the City is short 3,500 housing units that cost less than 900-dollars per month. To help meet that need, the foundation is asking the City for help in the amount of seven-million dollars through the Vision Fund. The idea is to offer cheaper long term and low interest loans to housing developers.

The lower rates will act as an incentive to lower rents and implement more affordable housing in the area.

They say the seven-million dollars would build 280 affordable units.

The foundation’s CEO, Liz Hamburg, says teachers from other states hoping to move to the Rapid City area changed their minds when those teachers couldn’t find places to live.

”Everyone needs housing. It’s fundamental to have a roof over your head and safety. It’s a basic human need. This fund is going to help us as a City better take care of our citizens,” says Hamburg.

Hamburg says that more people moving to the area heightens the need for housing, and adds that it’s likely homelessness will rise if something doesn’t change.

She says the lack of affordable housing also contributes to things like displaced families, racial segregation, unemployment and poverty.

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