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Affordable Housing Need On The Rise

January 22, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Affordable Housing Need On The Rise

Sioux Falls is growing faster than ever before, and as more businesses move to town, people follow and the demand for apartments rises.

"We have a very low rental vacancy rate. We're at about a 4 percent vacancy rate, so that makes the market very tight, and that means rents go up," Stacey Tieszen said.

That's making it harder for families to pay the bills and where projects, like the Westwood Apartments, come in. The units are being built specifically for people who may not otherwise be able to afford rent. For example, a family of four that makes a little more than $40,000 a year.

"We're not engaged on a regular basis in the hand-out business, but really more of the hand-up and putting that infrastructure in place that allows people to thrive and be prosperous," Darrin Smith said.

When the city invests in projects like these, Smith says location is important because the city needs affordable homes throughout the town.

"We like to look at it from the flip side. What are the positives with having projects like this and diversity throughout the community, and diversity means many things. It means income levels, it means race, gender, all those things," Smith said.

Wherever the projects end up, the people who qualify for affordable housing are just happy to call someplace home.

"Right now, it's on the tip of everybody's tongue. People are saying it a lot, it's in the news a lot. So, the movement is forward on that, we just need to be all on the same page when we're talking about what that really means," Tieszen said.

If you think you may qualify for affordable housing, Smith recommends getting in contact with the city's Affordable Housing Division.

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