The growing population in the Black Hills is causing challenges with affordable housing

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Thousands of people are moving to the Black Hills each year. With the B-21 Raider coming to the Ellsworth Air Force Base, that means even more newcomers. But finding a place to live could be a challenge.

Whether it’s the great outdoors, the downtown area, or a brand new job, people are making their way to the Black Hills.

“We know there are probably about 1,500 to 2,000 people a year right now. This is without the Base even being announced, you add the Base into that in the next 10 years,” Johnson said.

CEO of Elevate Rapid City, Tom Johnson, says nearly 30,000 to 40,000 people are expected to be moving to the Black Hills within the next 10 years.

Rapid City alone is currently short 3,500 affordable housing units.

“It’s a good problem to have because that means Rapid City is growing and prospering and a lot of folks are deciding to move here but it also means that we have a challenge ahead of us and we are trying to address that,” Johnson said.

Johnson says one thing that needs to happen is building partnerships with developers.

David Lust is with the Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund. He says providing low-interest loans is also an option.

“We’re working to raise private and public dollars to entice developers into building inventory below market to address that need,” Lust said.

While more people coming to the area is great news for the economy, everyone needs a place to call home

Affordable housing means spending no more than 30 percent of a monthly income on a home..

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