Rapid City needs affordable housing, Collective Impact brings a solution

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RAPID CITY S.D. (KEVN TV) - "Together, building a more caring community" that's what Collective Impact prides itself on. At its core, the organization wants to improve the quality of life in Rapid City particularly by focusing on affordable housing.

Nearly half of households in the Black Hills earned less than $20,000 in 2016. So the group's new housing chair is trying to bridge the gap between high rent prices and low incomes.

"There's been a lot of discussion, a lot of meetings about affordable housing over the years in Rapid City but nothing really tangible has been done. My job is to have some tangible progress towards addressing affordable housing needs," says David Lust the affordable housing coordinator with Collective Impact.

On top of being an attorney, Lust served in the state legislative for years. He feels his background will be an asset to Collective Impact.

"We as a community need to address this issue, it impacts everybody. It really does. From the lowest income to business owners that can't find workers or can't find housing for their workers, it crosses all economic strata and demographic," says Lust.

Lust plans to work with property developers, the city, county and state to try and make affordable housing a reality for every person in Rapid City.

"Housing is really, along with food are the core notions of helping on a social level. If you take care of those two things, you allow people a springboard to do a lot of really good things," says Lust.

Lust will continue to practice law on top of his new position in Collective Impact, and is excited for this new venture.