New Affordable Housing Opens As Need Rises
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
November 18, 2013 9:27 PM
More than 3,100 people in Sioux Falls receive some type of assistance when it comes to housing. Monday afternoon, an open house was held at the city’s newest affordable housing complex. But as we found out, it isn’t easy to keep up with the growing demand.
Robin Peters, a tenant of Spring Centre said, “You pay your rent, utilities are included, and it's a nice facility."
Peters is unable to work after being injured on the job. The 57-year-old said it’s a position she never thought she'd be in. She went to college and graduate school, yet still struggles to afford a home.
"It’s not just people like me, but a lot of people that their incomes just don't meet what a lot of houses call for now a days," Peters said.
The Spring Centre apartment complex, where Peters lives opened on Nov 5. In less than two weeks, 15 of the 31 units have been filled.
Executive Director of Affordable Housing Solutions Shireen Ranschau said this is a growing problem.
"The need has just gotten bigger and bigger, and the rents have been increasing, and part of it is because we have very low vacancy," Ranschau said.
In order to qualify for an apartment, a family of four for example must make $20,950, or 30 percent of the median income for Sioux Falls. Ranschau said the apartments for those who are at that 30 percent are already taken, which shows her there might be even a greater need. But over the years she said it’s been more and more difficult to build affordable housing.
“Some of the funding isn't available, and some of the federal funding that was available has gotten cut," Ranschau said.
This has made it even more difficult to build a nice place to live as the cost of construction rises.
As Peters settles into her new home, she said she hopes people like Ranschau continue to help everyone have a place to call their own, because after all there is no place like home.
"So living on a limited income and having a nice place to live really means a lot," Peters said.
There are a few other affordable housing options opening soon. Eleven renovated units called Duluth Heights will open in November. Then in the spring, five homes for people over 55 will become available.