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Rapid City Seeks To Address Affordable Housing BHKN Photo Archive
July 23, 2019

Rapid City Seeks To Address Affordable Housing

The development of affordable housing in Rapid City has been a big issue for local elected officials and activists in 2019. According to the Rapid City Journal, policy towards this development, one goal of several from Rapid City’s current comprehensive plan, could be introduced as early as this fall.

The City of Rapid City recently released a survey on affordable housing to collect information from residents on this important issue. The survey will be available through August 19th, 2019. Affordable housing refers to housing that costs less than 30 percent of a household’s gross income. In Rapid City, there is currently a shortage of approximately 3,500 owner-occupied units costing less than $899 per month and approximately 1,500 rental units with rents under $500 per month, according to a 2018 study by the Black Hills Knowledge Network.

Between 2010 and 2016 real median household incomes (i.e. inflation adjusted incomes) in the study area fell by 3.2%, while real median home prices, in contrast, rose by 11.5%. The simultaneous divergence of incomes and housing costs led to increased housing burden families with lower incomes.  As evidence of this, the study found that an estimated 4,417 households, or 12% of area households, were forced to pay more than 50% of their incomes towards housing in 2016.

According to Ken Young, Rapid City’s Community Development Director, there are several policy routes the city could take to address the issue of affordable housing. These options include the development of tiny homes, lowering permit costs for home-builders, and the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

To read more about housing in the Black Hills, check out the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.

The Rapid City Affordable Housing Survey will be available through August 19th, 2019. Take it today!

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