Advocates for low income families say when affordable housing gives way to other types of development, they don’t get replaced.
Growth within Sioux Falls can sometimes come at the expense of families who struggle with affording a place to live.
“Sioux Falls is working hard to develop more workers and a higher number of employers but where are you going to put them,” Jim Schmidt of Sioux Empire Housing Partnership said.
Not only does that lead to an affordable housing crunch, it also means rents are taking out a bigger chunk from paychecks. Some people are spending half their income for housing.
“So you begin to see that the lifestyle that they have with two jobs and everything else gets not only to be a financial problem, it gets to be a social problem, it gets to be a family problem,” Schmidt said.
The greatest need for affordable housing is in the core area of Sioux Falls.
“Those areas are right on the bus line, people can get to and from work easily, they’re accessible to services, county human services is just down the road, Community Outreach is just right down the road. But it’s also centralized, so if you need to get to the mall area for work, it’s easy to do so,” Community Outreach Executive Director Dane Bloch said.
Now there’s a new push by local non-profits, headed up by Sioux Falls Thrive to work more closely with low-income families to help them make their monthly rental payments.
“Part of the program is providing case management to these clients so when something does happen, rather than go off the rails and lose control of where they’re at, they have somebody they can talk to,” Bloch.
That service is called UTAP, which stands for Unit Tracking and Placement Program. Sioux Falls Thrive hopes to have it up and running in September.