We’ve told you the about the need for affordable housing in areas of KELOLAND- specifically what Sioux Falls is doing to help with the demand. However, Sioux Falls isn’t the only place looking to bring more housing to the community.
You’ll find Westbrook Estates on the west side of Yankton. From apartments, to single family homes, to duplexes and four-plexes, there’s an option for just about everyone.
“Westbrook Estates includes a mix of housing, all the way from single family homes at market rate, through the workforce housing, which are targeted to be slightly below market rate apartment,” Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Yankton, Dave Mingo said.
It may look like any other neighborhood, but this section of the city is more than that, it’s part of the solution to a housing shortage.
“What we’re trying to do is create a pipeline so within in the community if you’re living in that $100,000 to $150,000 house, and you want to be able to upgrade, Westbrook Estates, is a great place for you to do that, the housing units start at about $200,000 and that’s really what makes them affordable,” CEO of Yankton Area Progressive Growth, Nancy Wenande said.
The idea goes back five years. In 2013 the city of Yankton conducted a housing needs analysis. Local leaders learned the southeast South Dakota city needs more options for people moving into town or looking for a home in a new price range.
“Those show we have housing needs at all levels, throughout the market range, from higher end, higher level developments, all the way down to workforce housing and even some low income housing,” Mingo said.
Yankton Area Progressive Growth is an economic development company. It works to attract businesses to Yankton and keep current employers in the community. The company also saw the need for more housing and spearheaded the project.
“Rather than just recruiting and retaining employers, we needed to take a focus on what we were doing for employees, because there’s really a high demand in town for employees,” Wenande said. “Our development company a couple years ago decided to focus on housing and that’s how the idea of Westbrook Estates came to fruition.”
In order to make this new neighborhood a reality, Yankton Area Progressive Growth had to bring in a lot of partners.
“Some of those partners were the City of Yankton,” Wenande said. “Then we also have been working with Eagle Construction and Kelly Nielsen, as well as a lot of independent contractors to build homes in the development out here.”
Thanks to all of that support, the project has been successful.
“There’s a lot of housing needs all around the state of South Dakota, what’s happening here in Yankton is not unique, but what is unique is that we found a solution that really worked here for our community,” Wenande said.
Wenande hopes other communities across the state follow Yankton’s lead and work together to help make sure everyone has a place to call home.
“It’s really important that other communities take a look at what we did and then we take a look at what other communities are doing and see if some of their financing options or ways that they’re creative with their private-public partnerships, if that also works for Yankton,” Wenande said.