New affordable housing coming to North Rapid City

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Habitat for Humanity is building affordable housing in Rapid City.

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim takes us to 7th Street to learn more about the Garfield Green project.

Habitat for Humanity has been building the Garfield homes for the last three years with GBA Construction, and they're celebrating the house setting of eight new homes on this 80,000 square foot lot.

The houses are still in progress, but a lot of work has been done on some of them.

Katrina Lim says, "Three to four bedroom homes such as this one here would cost about 30% of the family's gross income. As you can see, there's people in the background still working on the houses and some families are also looking at the houses as well."

Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Scott Engmann says, "We've identified that over 20% of Americans are spending more than 50% of their gross monthly income on housing and in that sense they're cost burden. So Habitat's in the business of taking the burden of the housing costs off of families so they have extra funds to be able to do the important things they need in their lives like take care of their health, take care of their cars, make sure their kids can succeed in school."

Habitat's Executive Director says they built these homes while keeping in mind many of the potential residents' desires such as walking distance to downtown, easy access to public transportation, and close proximity to Horace Mann Elementary School.

Scott Engmann says, "If we don't have affordable housing in our community, it's going to be very difficult to move forward and attract new companies to come here. It's going to be very, very difficult as we have a higher demand on our social services as families struggle to keep roofs over their heads. So I feel very fulfilled and satisfied with the work I get to do with Habitat."

Terry Fuller has been volunteering with Habitat for more than 20 years and helps build the Garfield homes three to four hours a week.

Volunteer Terry Fuller says, "The paycheck for Habitat comes when we dedicate a house and see a family have a decent place to live and they've been living in a trailer house or in their parents' basement, trying to raise kids. Now they have a house where the kids have their own bedroom. It's special."

The target completion date for the homes is September of this year.

Habitat is still looking for volunteers, so if you'd like to help, sign up at blackhillshabitat.org.

Katrina Lim, Black Hills FOX News.