Sioux Falls Slumlords; The Tale of Two Cities

I have been aware of this situation for awhile from seeing it on FB, but never realized just how bad it was;

Roach infestations, mold and broken security doors, leading to homeless encampments. Those are just a few of the issues that low-income tenants are facing living in various properties in Sioux Falls owned by Tzadik Management.

Part of the issue is that code enforcement and the health department really doesn’t enforce much of anything unless you are a lowly homeowner;

“We have a pretty good rapport with the regional managers from Tzadik and the property maintenance staff from the city and they seem to address it pretty quickly,” Tobias said.

Yeah, I bet you have a pretty good rapport, which means turn the other cheek. I heard during the pandemic when most city employees were hiding in their basements, few inspections were happening. I have been complaining about the complex/lot at 15th and Cliff for years which consists of several empty buildings with roofs falling in, and two abandoned houses all owned by the same person and the city has done little to nothing. But they did show up in my neighborhood to spray my sidewalk in front of my house for a ¼ inch crack. Git R’ Done!

This is a prime example of the tale of two cities. While we have tax payer incentivized condos and parking ramps going up downtown, we have a crumbling housing system in our core that has been going on since I moved here in 1991. The city leaders and staff just turn the other way. There has also been a rumor circulating that affordable housing in our core is being hoarded and not being rented out or sold for rehabilitation.

When I hear our current elected officials talk about the housing crisis in Sioux Falls and all the fabulous things that are going to do, I know better. I am pretty sure if they can’t figure out a minor roach infestation, they are going to really struggle rebuilding the core.

I encourage people to vote for Brekke, Reistroffer, Ingle and Pam Cole in the upcoming election if they want to see a council that will work on these issues.


#1 D@ily Spin on 03.24.22 at 8:46 am

There seems to be more homeless. Must be better than living in slum lord conditions. The county and private groups try hard but they’re overwhelmed. Meanwhile, the city sponsors office buildings and subsided yet still unaffordable housing. Those who struggle making house payments get harassed by code enforcement until they leave for a neighboring city or become homeless. How can you be a mayor with blinders then run for re-election? We’re worse than before. The city has major debt. Crime (drugs especially) is rampant. For the revolution, redevelop empty office buildings into welfare apartments. Transparency is emptiness ear to ear in the mayor’s mind.

#2 Donald Pay on 03.24.22 at 9:22 am

As a former resident who lived in two substandard houses as a student in the 1970’s I can assure you this isn’t a new issue. One of the houses was bulldozed down by the city a few years after we moved into our second substandard house, near to and owned by Augustana College (as it was called then). We were young and newly married and joked about how this would be a great story to tell our kids, but it’s not so great if you have kids and have to live in such conditions.

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 03.24.22 at 11:03 am

Slums and also homes all painted taupe. I’ve heard this before. Oh, wait a minute, I was thinking of all of the slums painted institutional green to appease the drug dealers in Brazil. #Nevermind

#4 D@ily Spin on 03.24.22 at 11:17 am

The city can no longer condemn property. Unless it’s changed, the judicial ordinance doesn’t allow appeals into court. They can’t sue. Nor can you they. They always lost so they stopped going to court. When slum lords get a citation (per code) they wait for more. It’s double jeopardy. Then they can’t be prosecuted again and the original complaint can’t be enforced.

#5 anominous on 03.24.22 at 10:49 pm

are cockroaches kosher?

#6 Very Stable Genius on 03.25.22 at 11:44 pm

The Republican answer to all of this is to not increase or enhance code enforcement, but rather to allow one to list cockroaches as dependents on your 1040.

#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 03.26.22 at 9:33 am

I guess the message to apartment dwellers is that they need to call the City at the same time they notify the mgt and maint staff for their complex.
Tobias indicates that they require a complaint in order that the City can react with an investigate.
Meanwhile, code enforcement is assertive, proactive in matters relating to tree limbs and cracked sidewalks.

#8 VSG on 03.27.22 at 2:44 pm

“tree limbs”…. You got a letter, too, huh? #WelcomeToTheClub 😉

#9 "Woodstock" on 03.27.22 at 2:46 pm

“Say, does the city ever send out letters about asbestos moving?”… “You know, like the proper way to do it and which streets to use when taking it to the general discard area of the dump, which is quite near the kids at Wild Water West”…