The struggle of finding housing in Rapid City

A story of a woman in Rapid City trying to find a place to live
An apartment door in downtown Rapid City.
An apartment door in downtown Rapid City.(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 5:25 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - It’s a common theme, “the housing market in Rapid City is hot!” People are moving here at an exceptional rate, averaging 8 to 10 people a day. What happens to the market when there is too much demand and not enough supply? Tally Monteau, a local Rapid City resident, says it’s a battle.

“I moved here to Rapid City two years ago, it wasn’t that difficult to find a place two years ago. It was right before the pandemic and I was renting this house, so for two years I lived in this house, but my landlord decided to sell the house and gave me two months to find a place and move out,” said Monteau.

But that time turned into a race that she ultimately lost, “I looked for two months, and I couldn’t find anything affordable.”

Monteau’s income was fixed, and she had a strict budget, one that she thought would get her a decent and safe place to live. “...and for the prices that landlords were asking, the places weren’t up to the asking price for rent. They were dirty and needed fixing, like holes in the kitchen cabinets and they wanted $1,500 for a house with a hole in the kitchen cabinets. The shower wasn’t sealed to the wall. It was just really deteriorated spaces for a lot of money.” Money that would have made most of her paycheck goes to housing.

After a long search, she hit the jackpot, a place to live. “I looked on the north side and from the time that I looked and references checked out to be good and by the time that they selected me to be a candidate or a renter for that space the price went up from $1,500 to $1,900. And that was from midafternoon to evening time that the price jumped up that much,” but after striking out, Monteau became desperate.

She just wanted a place to live.

“It took me four months. I was couch surfing with a friend, you know thank God for my friends.” Four months spent filling out 2 to 3 applications a day, balancing her career, and sending her daughter two states away to live with her father.

Monteau thought she had met every issue possible but turns out there was one more. “He wanted $650 that day to secure the space. And I was like well I need to see the place the video isn’t that great of quality. So, my friend and I drove over to the place and there was somebody living in there.”

Monteau said it was discouraging, she loves Rapid City and she set a time limit on finding a place to live or looking elsewhere for a new home and job. “Just potentially having to leave a job that I love and that I work really hard at because I couldn’t find any place to live. I couldn’t find any affordable places to live”

It took time and learning the ropes of Rapid City housing, but she found a place to live.

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