Sioux Falls, SD
Chad Carpenter bought his home more than a year ago. He calls his house, built in 1953, a fixer-upper.
"The way they cobbled some of the stuff together back then, I got the code book, it just takes time and money," Carpenter said.
Little by little, Carpenter said he is trying to improve his home. Other homes that surround his, and a good number of houses in many other core neighborhoods, also appear to need some TLC. Sioux Falls City Planner Mike Cooper said, according to the 2010 census, the number of homes built before 1960, with occupants spending a third of their monthly income on maintaining them, is at 20-percent. Sioux Falls seems to be a city that tries to hang on to these structures.
"We try to get as much life out of those them as we can," Cooper said. "When they start to reach 60 years, or older, in age, and you start to see major maintenance things."
You can spot a number of weathered homes with rough siding, deteriorating roofs, and structural damage.
"Everybody has a different story they're trying to deal with, or different situation they're trying to deal with," Carpenter said.
Carpenter knows people in his neighborhood who simply cannot afford to keep up with everything, and maintenance can be challenging for the elderly.
"My neighbor she, her husband died about five years ago, and I've been helping her since I moved in here," Carpenter said.
City leaders are trying to figure out ways to work with homeowners, in order to keep older homes thriving, and timeless. There are housing programs through the City of Sioux Falls Community Development Department.
"We want to maintain those housing units, because they do provide options for affordable housing," Cooper said.