Correction- A previous edition of this report incorrectly stated the date of one of the two upcoming meetings; the correct dates are May 20 and May 27.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said in his Monday State of the City address that anticipated population growth means that from 2020 to 2025, “at least 7,000” more homes are needed.
“Well, it’s an aggressive number, but it’s much needed,” Sioux Falls city councilor Marshall Selberg said.
“It’s absolutely critical that we look at everything we can to improve accessible housing, and that’s all levels of housing,” councilor Alex Jensen said.
“To get to that 7,000 number is going to take a lot of multi-family housing and making it fit in neighborhoods has become really contentious,” councilor Pat Starr said. “And we need to look at people who live in an apartment not as criminals, but as our neighbors, as our friends, our family.”
Councilors discussed the impact of higher-density housing.
“So the thing to get to that number, it’s going to include a lot of multi-family, whether it’s a four-plex, an eight or a 12-plex, up to a hundred-plus,” Starr said.
“If you have more density, you’re going to have more economic development,” Jensen said. “You’re going to have more abilities to impact education, you’re going to have better public safety. So if we do all those things and we do them effectively and plan for them, that’s where we’re really going to hit our goal of getting to the 7,000 number that we’re going to need.”
Selberg says the need isn’t down the road; it’s here now.
“We’ve got people coming to town in record numbers, and we need places for them to go,” Selberg said. “I can tell you for a fact as far as being in the housing industry and selling homes, I’ve got people out there that are, well, quite frankly, they get a bit dejected, ’cause there’s not a lot out there. We need to find some things for them today and tomorrow and the years to come.”
Jensen says there are two upcoming meetings about housing on May 20 and May 27. We’ll soon know where they’ll be held.
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