Using the present to look to the future of Rapid City affordable housing

Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 4:59 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Earlier this year, 11 projects were approved to receive funding by the Rapid City Vision Fund.

Some notable projects from the pool that totaled 26-million dollars: a Native American Community Center on the way to Rapid City, the Sioux Park Tennis Courts will see restoration in hopes to bring more people to the Hills, the Knollwood Drainage Area will get some redevelopment.

Plus, in a Legal and Finance Committee meeting today, some checks and balances were introduced to a low and medium income housing project, which was approved for $5 million dollars of that vision fund money.

Justin Williams, Assistant City Attorney, drew up the paperwork so the City will be able to request reports on an as-needed basis to ensure the project is working as intended, and ”we did that on purpose with the intent being that we didn’t necessarily want the foundation to take it’s time and effort away from its mission. But, certainly if the city, the council or if this committee has specific questions, if they want to have a progress report, they can just request that and the foundation had indicated to me that they’d be more than happy to come in and do that.”

He says there is no expiration date for the funding. Instead, the $5 million investment is meant to be revolving, where interest will play a role in keeping money flowing in.

The plan is for an ongoing and permanent effort that would not require additional income or funding. Which, is something Jason Salamun, City Councilman Ward 3, believes the city is in desperate need of, “so that we can meet these challenges that we all feel. We all feel the housing crunch. So, what are we doing about it? Well, this is one idea to do something about it by providing a revolving loan to help low and middle income families in houses in our community.”

Salamun says with the growth happening in the area, he thinks the important question to ask is whether we’re going to let the growth happen to us, or if we’re going to get ahead of it?

He says a solution City Council is currently looking into is dedicating leftover funds at the end of the year to development in specific areas, ensuring they’re ready for a potential population pop.

Copyright 2022 KEVN. All rights reserved.