Noem signs major housing legislation amid continued shortage
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Last year, the South Dakota state legislature passed a bill that would have provided $200 million for the development of housing infrastructure.
However, what’s being called a “technical issue” with the bill prevented that money from being released.
With the stroke of a pen Wednesday, Governor Kristi Noem corrected that mistake and made those funds available immediately.
In a statement after signing the legislation, Noem said, “As South Dakota’s economy continues to boom, we have consistently ranked at or near the top of the country for fastest new housing development. However, even this impressive growth has not kept up with new residents moving into our state.”
Just this week, the Wall Street Journal listed Rapid City as the 20th top emerging housing market in the country.
Sen. Helene Duhamel, one of the bill’s sponsors, agrees and said that this action to provide more housing is needed now more than ever.
“Everyone is clamoring for this; everyone is asking for it,” Duhamel said. “There’s a need in every city, small and large, across the state, and we have to get these funds deployed as quickly as possible, especially in our area, with the growth, with the B-21 coming. We need homes for all these people who are moving to this area.”
Ross Jones of Jones Construction said that the funds will help, but there are other factors that continue to make housing a difficult issue for the Black Hills.
“We field numerous phone calls weekly at our company, more than we can get to usually,” Jones said. “So, there’s still a steady stream of people moving to South Dakota, and there just hasn’t been as many homes built in the last 10 years as needed to keep up with the demand.”
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