S.D. legislators set workforce housing meeting

Capitol News Bureau
KELO pierre capitol building

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A panel of legislators studying South Dakota’s workforce housing needs will hear from people in the Black Hills area on the afternoon of July 14, its chairman said Wednesday.

Representative Roger Chase wants the group to meet at a later date in an eastern South Dakota community and finish work in Pierre.

“People are expecting us to have some answers,” Chase said.

A long list of witnesses testified at the first committee meeting Wednesday. Among them was Denise Hanzlik of Dell Rapids, executive director for the South Dakota Multi-housing Association, and president Todd Hollan of Rapid City.

“Any kind of rehab moneys would be greatly appreciated,” Hanzlik said. She added that creating a new property tax classification for residential-rental would help too. She noted that rentals with one to three units are taxed differently than rentals with four or more units.

Dan McColley, executive director of the Brookings Habitat for Humanity chapter, said a pre-pandemic survey found South Dakota was short 11,500 affordable housing units — “A five billion dollar problem.”  

McColley said helping people with affordable housing could make their lives easier in a hundred other ways.

“Those are really important facts for us to be aware of,” Senator Mike Diedrich replied.

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