Sioux Falls needs to do more to save it’s core

If I was running for mayor, one of my main legs on my campaign stool would be revitalization of the core. If tackled correctly, it could accomplish many goals. Not only making our core look and feel better, but it would help to reduce crime, create more affordable housing and in turn produce economic growth. It seems the city’s solution is spending our tax dollars tearing stuff down and rebuilding new which isn’t very cost effective at all;

The home is slated for demolition next week, with plans to rebuild a single family home on the lot.

Thanks to federal funding, the newly built home will eventually be sold to a lower income family. It’s all part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which is funding 10 such projects this summer in an effort to improve the local housing stock and add to the city’s pool of affordable housing.

While this may sound all fine and dandy, you could probably take that same amount of money, disperse in a different way and do 4x the amount of projects. How? Like I said, if I were mayor I would reorganize community development. I would have two full-time staff dedicated to knocking on doors in our core and identifying homes and rental property that could benefit from community development loans and federal grants (I received both shortly after I bought my home, and it was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone buying an older home that needs some TLC). I would also change the TIF program for what it is truly intended for, creating affordable housing out of blighted properties. I would give landlords and individual homeowners who are willing to fix up old properties an opportunity to apply for property tax abatement.

Like I said, this process could be very simple and would produce better neighborhoods while producing economic growth. Giving TIF’s to sprawling apartment buildings or luxury condos just doesn’t cut it. Just imagine if we took the millions in TIFs and spread them out to hundreds of homes and smaller unit apartment buildings, the impact that would have?

The problem is big development has a chokehold on our city government right now, they have them by the balls. Just look at the DT parking ramp or Flopdation Park, we are spending close to $50 million dollars on infrastructure that does almost ZERO to rehabilitate what we already have in our core, and while it is not a total waste, it certainly doesn’t make economic sense.

Why do you think the city wants to crack down on rental registry? They want to squeeze the little guy out by seizing their property thru code enforcement and handing it over to the big guys. Every one that I have spoken to who own small rental properties that have registered have been bothered by mailings and phone calls to sell their property to a major developer. Is the city selling or giving away this information? Makes you wonder?

The next administration and council need to work with the little guys to help clean up our core and let the big developers play on their own, they are certainly not going anywhere, and they will survive with out our corporate welfare. It’s time to get back to the basics.


#1 southern exposure on 05.18.17 at 4:13 pm

How do property tax abatements, community development loans and federal grants differ from corporate welfare ? Little. Except that they all derive from different pointy headed pseudo intellectual types who think that they can spend your money better than you.

#2 l3wis on 05.18.17 at 4:29 pm

Big difference. First off a CDL is either 0% or 2% loan. Mine was 2%. After the city and feds gave me the loan, they automatically sold it to a bank. Besides CD administering the loan, it really didn’t cost the city or the feds anything to give me the loan. I also got a EPA federal grant for removing lead doors and windows from my house. This is NOT city money this is federal, and I pay federal income taxes, so in turn this is really my money. As for giving TIF’s to homeowners, this is money they are reinvesting in THEIR property. They will most likely live in this space or rent it out. When we give TIF’s to developers who build luxury condos, they will probably sell the property before the TIF even expires, in turn saving themselves millions before they ever have to pay the real amount of property taxes. This is money that goes right in their pockets. I believe when we pay our local taxes, that money should come back to us, not handed out as corporate welfare to big developers that will survive without it.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 05.18.17 at 4:31 pm

Some properties can’t be revitalized. There’s problems with old wiring, lead paint, and asbestos. The atmosphere should be what the market calls for. Rental registry is nothing but code enforcement Gestopo. I’m sure it’s used where key developers want to push out mom and pop retirement rental income. TIF’s have become political favors that facilitate private profit. Federal money is misused for new middle income inferior construction condos. The city must refrain from competing with private real estate investment. They’re building a hotel. They built a private indoor tennis Wimbledon the mayor owns. Focus on infrastructure, crime, and homelessness. We’ll find a place to live without your blockbusting and imposed inflation.

#4 LJL on 05.18.17 at 6:02 pm

If people believe these houses need to be saved, then they need to put their money were their mouths are. Ask to be given these houses and pledge that they we restored within a year. Programs already exsist for this type of process, but I do agree these are the situations TIFs should be used for owner occupied only.

The land will be put to better use in this program if the house cannot be saved. This is cost effective and you have NO idea what it takes to restore a house in that bad of condition. I’m happy to see this land is not given to a developer and to a good program.