Could new CARES funding tackle affordable housing and child care issues in Rapid City?

Will $200,000 really make a dent?
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:38 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - In effort to tackle the affordable housing and child care issue during the pandemic, Rapid City has received CARES funding.

But will this funding really make a dent in solving these communal issues?

About $200,000 is up for grabs for any local organizations, whether that be a governmental agency, non-profit or for-profit, to help assist people with housing or child care services.

“It will help but it’s going to barely touch the surface,” Black Hills Community Loan Fund Executive Director Onna LeBeau said.

Though LeBeau said some funding is better than none, too many Rapid City residents are being evicted.

She said some families may have gained their service industry jobs back, but not all of them returned to full-time hours and it shows in their paychecks.

“Even if they are in the point of eviction right now, that’s not saying they are back to work to where they can continue to pay rent. So who is to say that in another three months they are not going to be in that same position again,” LeBeau said.

The future is what David Lust is worried about too.

“We haven’t quite seen what we are going to see yet because of the federal stimulus, the $1200, plus the extra unemployment benefits, I think we haven’t seen the dramatic impact in housing that we may see in the future depending on what the federal government does,” Black Hills Area Community Foundation Affordable Housing Coordinator David Lust said.

Both Lust and LeBeau are helping families find funding assistance for the time being.

But the City is also worried about less child care services being available.

“We want to help with those extra expenses like PPE, extra staffing, extra cleaning. All of those things child healthcare providers have to do just to keep up with the status quo,” Community Development Block Grant Manager Michelle Schuelke said.

Either way the pandemic is still here and help is needed.

Interested agencies can apply for this funding with the application deadline set for September 18. For more information or to receive an application, contact (605) 394-4181.

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