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Housing shortage puts strain on incoming Airmen

(Scarlett Lisjak)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -The surging demand and rising price of houses is a seller’s dream, but if you’re in need of a place to live, it’s a different story. And to make a difficult situation worse, is when you don’t exactly have a choice on where you move.

One of the biggest employers in Rapid City is Ellsworth Air Force Base, bringing thousands of people into the area, but for many Airmen moving to Rapid City there is no place to call home.

Military Community Relations Director for South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority, Lynn Kendall says, “some people are living in campers their having to pay nightly fees at hotels because there is just not housing for them to purchase or rent.”

Living out of hotels is not cheap, Kendall adds “what we are finding here locally is that the cost of living exceeds what they are given for that monthly allowance. So, there is a lot of expenses that they are paying for outside of their pocket.”

The military is joining forces with Rapid City, and local developers to help get our troops the housing they need.

The Vice President of Investor Relations for Best Gen Capital, Jeff Carsrud says the influx of people in Rapid City has made the housing market competitive.

“People coming here because they want to live here due to COVID, so those properties are being purchased even with cash, and with short closing periods,” Carsrud said.

Carsrud says this problem is only temporary, him along with other developers are working to catch up with the demand.

“We are in the process of building at 42 unit apartment complex between Rapid City and the base, other companies are doing the same to be able to fill that void to allow those new Airmen to have a place to live,” Carsrud said.

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