Foundations for affordable housing

Positively KELOLAND

It’s a need felt across the country and right here in KELOLAND: affordable housing. On Saturday in Sioux Falls a Habitat for Humanity event provided an example of how people are making it happen.

“Today we are setting the foundation on two homes,” said Niki Schillerstrom, community relations director for Greater Sioux Falls Habitat for Humanity.

Schillerstrom says Habitat builds around “five to 10” homes in Sioux Falls every year.

“We do what we do because we believe everyone deserves a decent, safe, stable place to live,” Schillerstrom said.

Volunteer Yvette Christion of Lennox works for First National Bank in Sioux Falls, which helped sponsor Saturday’s event.

“I decided to be here because I am working side-by-side with the families that will be living in these houses,” Christion said.

The homes are built thanks to people volunteering their time.

“Someday maybe if I drive by I can say I helped build that house, and it’s just a cool feeling,” volunteer Kaity Brouwer said.

Jacob Lual of Sioux Falls will move into one of these homes with his wife and their two kids. On Saturday he’s helping build.

“I’m so happy to be here. I think I’m happier than anybody here, because the house is mine,” Lual said.

Chellee Unruh, housing manager from the City of Sioux Falls, says homes like these are in high demand.

“I think that just like any growing city, we need to increase affordable housing, both on the single family owner-occupied housing, as well as the rental units as well,” Unruh said on Monday. “So there’s definitely a need there.” 

A need that these foundations are helping fill, piece by piece.

“I can also see the fruit of my labor right away,” Christion said. “I can see that the home is going up, and somebody will be living in those houses.” 

“It feels awesome to be able to physically contribute to something and know you’re kind of making a difference,” Brouwer said.

The 2019 Sioux Falls Housing Summit is coming on Thursday.  

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