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SDAHO Participates in Housing Needs Roundtable

The lack of housing continues to be a challenge across South Dakota, impacting communities of all sizes and a variety of industries. This past December the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) participated in a Housing Opportunity Roundtable discussion with representatives from the healthcare industry. The roundtable brought together representatives from federal, state, local, and healthcare organizations to discuss solutions to the state’s housing challenges.

Two separate meetings were held, one in Rapid City at Elevate Rapid City on Tuesday, December 12, and the second in Mitchell, at the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, December 14. The purpose of the meetings was to educate local healthcare organizations about existing housing programs and connect healthcare representatives with local partners and advocacy organizations. Both meetings provided an opportunity for members of the healthcare community to share their challenges and experiences with recruiting and retaining staff due to a lack of housing, success stories, and current projects.

Attendees were informed of the Building South Dakota Fund which was created by the SD Legislature in 2013, which established the Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF). To date, over 2,800 households in SD have been served by the HOF, in every county. Advocates for the HOF will be working with state lawmakers this legislative session to find a dedicated ongoing revenue source for the HOF.

The United States Department of Agriculture provided information on single-family housing repair loans and grants, also known as Section 504. The home repair program provides loans to very low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes or provides grants to elderly low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards. Conversations focused on ways to utilize Section 504 to assist the elderly with home repair needs that may allow them to stay in their own home longer, as they age in place.

South Dakota Housing provided information on a variety of programs available to assist homeowners, renters, developers, property management companies, social programs, investors, and communities with housing needs. The program was created by the SD Legislature in 1973 and is a self-supporting, nonprofit entity known for providing innovative solutions to create and preserve affordable housing.

Those in attendance brainstormed a variety of ideas that included combining both state and federal dollars, to working with the community on investing in housing solutions.

Organizations in attendance included:

  • South Dakota Housing Development Authority
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources
  • Grow South Dakota
  • United States Depart. Of Agriculture, Rural Development Office (USDA)
  • District Council of Governments
  • Rural Healthcare Incorporated
  • SD Dept. of Health
  • Local Economic Development Organizations
  • Sen. Mike Rounds (representatives)
  • Monument Health
  • Avera Health

SDAHO will be providing a panel conversation with many who attended the Housing Needs Roundtable at the 2024 Rural Health Leaders Conference. There attendees can learn more about these federal, state, and local housing programs. This year’s conference is June 25-26, 2024, at Drifters Event Center in Fort Pierre.

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