- Associated Press - Monday, June 25, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Rapid City’s short supply of affordable housing is due to a high-income housing shortage, wage stagnation, increased demand for single-person homes and an overdependence on tourism, according to a new report.

The recent report released by Jared McEntaffer, economist and director of online research service Black Hills Knowledge Network, found that Rapid City’s need for affordable housing is growing. While median household income has risen statewide and nationally, it has declined more than 3 percent in Rapid City from about $50,000 in 2010 to about $48,000 in 2016, the Rapid City Journal reported.

The report found that the city’s wage stagnation is due to an aging population, rising numbers of one-person households and overdependence on tourism-related jobs. About 11,800 Rapid City residents, or 25 percent, are employed in retail, accommodation, food service and arts and entertainment industries that cater toward tourists.

Lower-than-average household incomes coupled with high demand for one-person units have led to the demand for low-income housing far outpacing supply. Low-income housing is characterized as rent from under $500 per month up to $899 per month.

Low-income and high-income households are both being forced into the city’s middle-income housing market since demand for high-priced units is also exceeding supply.

McEntaffer recommended increasing housing options in the $400 to $600 per month range. He suggested adapting city codes to accommodate changing demographics and housing preferences.

The report also mentioned improving coordination between the city and developers, as well as creating incentives for affordable housing development.

McEntaffer recommended forming a nonprofit organization that functions as a hybrid developer and property manager.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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