Is anyone in leadership going to address the housing crisis in Sioux Falls?

The other day I heard Dusty Johnson talking about this issue, so I decided to email him the other day with my ideas;


I heard you talking the other day about the struggles with affordable housing in South Dakota.

We are in a crisis mode in Sioux Falls. I’m afraid the combination of developer and contractor handouts to build has caused this situation, plenty of businesses coming, not enough people to work those jobs. I’m afraid Amazon will have to build an RV Park/Campground to house the workers, because there will be no other place for them to live.

While we can’t go back in time, this all happened because we used taxpayer resources to incentivize the developers and contractors instead of the workers and housing buyers. We can do differently moving forward though. We need to end the welfare to big out of state businesses who pay below living wage salaries and start using Federal, State, County, and City programs to fix up our core neighborhoods where the affordable housing exists if the buyers are incentivized. We can do this through low interest or no interest loans, property tax rebates, fixing up infrastructure, etc. I call it starting from the bottom up. It also would prop up local contractors and businesses to fix up these homes. It also helps fight crime and neglect and it would be great for transferring slumlord neglected rental housing to first time homebuyers to fix up.

Trickle down has never worked, in fact it is proof that it has created this crisis. Instead we need to prop up residents to create more density in Sioux Falls and clean up these neighborhoods.

I know you are a Republican and may this agree with some of my suggestions, but the opposite just hasn’t worked, and never will. I told the planning commission and city council all these TIFS, tax rebates and breaks to big business and developers is just like pouring gasoline on a fire. We don’t have the workers, and even if they move here, we don’t have the housing. If we don’t do things completely opposite of what we have been doing, in five to ten years Sioux Falls is going to be a crime ridden dump.

Thanks for listening.

Scott L. Ehrisman

I figured since no one at city hall or in the state legislature is doing much about it except suggesting prisoners in Springfield work harder at building Governor houses, I would suggest to Dusty what is really going on here, is that we are failing, miserably, because of the bullcrap theory that if we give the rich developers and contractors at the top, somehow magically it would trickle down to us and solve our affordable housing issues. We also have to find a way to control rents in Sioux Falls and stop realtors from falsely inflating home prices in Sioux Falls. The value of my home changed very little over 17 years, usually 0-2% each year and then within two years it jumped up over 25%. Give me a break.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 07.23.21 at 7:17 pm

Dusty will reply with a liberal response. He bases them upon the original source. AND since it’s an email, he won’t be able to utilize his free franking privileges, however, which might make him frustrated.

( and Woodstock adds: “Ya, I have a cousin who used to work in Dusty’s liberal department in DC”…. “Now, he consults Minnesota Republicans who are thinking of moving to South Dakota and registering as Democrats”..)

#2 D@ily Spin on 07.24.21 at 11:20 am

The housing crisis is here and all around here. I’ve been looking at moving further out. There’s not much available in Brookings, Mitchell, Worthington, or Beresford. I’m looking for a townhome and nothing’s available further out. Townhomes here go up in price about 5k every 6 months. Builders want a cash sale and lenders want 25% down. FHA and VA loans are rare. New homes are inferior construction that do not qualify. Old homes need major work but contractors are booked and improvement cost is prohibitive. I looked at Rapid City. It’s higher than here because of California influx. Campgrounds are booked. There’s no trailer parks. I’m afraid the city will become another NW. North Dakota for when there was a fracking boom. The city has zoned out trailers and campers. The city limits will be surrounded with muddy acreage FEMA like trailer parks. I’m staying put. There will be change but it’ll take time and I’m not counting on city or state responsible attention. For Amazon and a few others, open the Denty for homeless like as for the Superdome after Katrina?

#3 Marie on 07.24.21 at 4:13 pm

The National Low Income Housing Coalition ( just released Out of Reach 2021 report finds that Sioux Falls workers must earn $16.81 per hour to afford a modest 2 bedroom apartment.

The Sioux Falls median renter hourly wage is estimated to be only $14.64/hour.

And then there is the even more acute problem of affordable housing for those earning less than the median renter wage.

Yet we continue to provide more public TIF’s and infrastructure subsidies for new homes and housing developments already affordable by higher income households.

This seems like upside down public housing subsidy policy.

#4 Erica on 07.24.21 at 10:14 pm

The Govt getting involved, at ANY level, isn’t going to make housing MORE affordable.