As the City of Sioux Falls continues its investment in the growth of affordable housing, a plan is being formed to establish priorities for where certain State and Federal funding should go. Putting that list together is one of the first priorities for the City's new affordable housing director, Les Kinstad.
"We receive funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development here in the City of Sioux Falls, and part of their requirements are to ensure that we have public input, that we respond to the needs of the citizens," Kinstad said.
Based on City estimates, there will be just over $2 million to work with next year, and the suggestions for how that money is used hasn't changed. People are still hoping to see a greater focus on housing for those with disabilities, along with the expansion of affordable housing to help reduce a growing homeless population.
"There are so many things that have an impact on affordable housing. Neighborhood revitalization, those kinds of things, and it gets down to things that aren't necessarily a broad sweeping topic but specific concerns that people have," Kinstad said.
Kinstad may only be 90 days on the job, but he's not shying away from such an important topic in Sioux Falls, and he understands the importance of gathering public opinion sooner rather than later.
"If you sit in an ivory tower or sit in your office and don't take that into account, first of all, as a public employee, you owe that to the citizens, and second of all, you're not going to be real successful," Kinstad said.
Kinstad and staff at the Community Development Office are collecting all of the suggestions and determining where the greatest need for extra funding is.