Well not quite Brandon, but almost. (FF 1:30)

As I understand it the development is in between Washington HS and the city of Brandon on a current empty lot. They will use a TIF to help pay for the roads and utilities. The most affordable houses will be slab on grade (NO basements, not even unfinished), 1,000 sq ft, single stall garage, $250K.

I think a better approach would be building NO attached garage and putting in unfinished basements with egress windows so the basements could be finished later and a garage.

What is silly about this is that when we have talked about building density in our core and providing more affordable housing this was NOT what people were asking for. But it should be NO surprise since the public had ZERO input and the councilors were met with privately about the plan. This video is the first time anyone from the public has heard about it.

I think doing a pilot program in central Sioux Falls would have been a better way to go. You pick a 8 block area that needs some help. The city could use a TIF to rebuild the roads, sewer, water, sidewalks, curb and gutter and street lighting. Community Development could provide loans to fix up the homes in the affected area and Affordable Housing Solutions could demo and buy up empty lots for new housing in the area. Building slab on grade houses next to Brandon with no apparent public transit service will do little to solve our affordable housing issues in the core of Sioux Falls.

By l3wis

19 thoughts on “City of Sioux Falls planning affordable housing development in Southwest Brandon”
  1. There’s a demand for middle income housing. With rising interest rates, payments on $250K will not be affordable for the cubicle worker majority. What’s disturbing is the city sucks at real estate projects. This should be done professionally the way it happens elsewhere. Namely, private developer expense without TIF’s.

    Instead of garages, why not a 6-story parking garage?

  2. Has anyone noticed the inactivity at major apartment developments either side of Veterans Parkway south from Dawley Farm? Inflation and rising interest rates is stalling the economy. Soon, there may be affordable apartments such that owning a home is not in demand. The city and developer should reconsider this housing development.

    Common sense is not what the city of Sioux Falls is known for.

  3. Sioux Falls, a town that has had four tornadoes in 3 years – although the local media dragged their feet about reporting on the last one – should not be building homes without basements. AND, how did the Zoning Department ever let this reality come into full fruition to begin with in allowing slab homes to be built in this town given our overall weather potential here?

    Plus, building lower price homes for a new neighborhood without basements will end up being about as charming as the housing in the 9th Ward in New Orleans over time.

    The city should build real houses, then sell them for a lost so working and middle class families can have real homes with basements and at least 1500 sq. feet of living quarters. #ItsTimeLocalGovermentWorked4ThePeople

    I might also add, that the same Zoning Department for years should have been advocating publicly a need to build more middle class homes in this town and advocating a permit process that for every executive home that was allowed to be built in Taupeville that at least 10 medium priced homes should have been required to be permitted for construction in that same time frame.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Personally, I think the 9th Ward is quite charming myself”…. “But I also think you need more humidity, mosquitoes, jazz, and French beignets to make it work”…. “All we got here are food trucks, spray trucks, and mosquitoes”….. ). #CafeduMonde #TacoTruck

  4. I see a pattern here, since we do not have much for bus routes anymore, this slum in the making is ready for the coming Wholestone workers? When the next tornado comes, whipping out this project, we get all new workers and houses? Now that’s planning!

  5. The bus routes are collapsing, panhandlers have a lot of change. I’m beginning to understand the city’s motive here. They don’t want the panhandlers to reposition themselves around town like some new Tet Offensive, so their means of transportation are being eliminated. Plus, many do not have cell phones, so on-demand is not an option… But can you still get cheap TracFones at Walmart?

  6. Building houses without basements in Sioux Falls: Just further proof that the developers run this town and public safety is second to the developers’ personal interests. It’s like gutting a load-bearing wall without a permit, moving asbestos through our fine town, painting everyone’s home taupe, building an events center with shabby siding, or building a parking ramp to nowhere.

  7. “How to get the City taxpayers to subsidize the costs of platting, engineering and design; construction of curb, gutter and streets in your crappy, cheaply-built village of rental townhouses?”

    This plan.

    Reserve a corner to slice into tiny single-dwelling lots and represent to City Planning as “affordable housing”.

    Next stop – place the words “housing for workforce” into the plan in order to garner some sort of state money.

  8. Totally inappropriate that a member of the Planning Comission is serving as host of a program of this nature.
    No wonder the entirety of the agenda items for their meetings are placed to a consent agenda. The vote for any of these items is foreshadowed in programs such as this, complete with the cheerleading of a chamber crony.

  9. It’s great to be an idealist about this stuff, but affordable housing is needed wherever and whenever you can get it. As far as slab on grade this city also has an aging population in need of housing many who do not wish to have a basement. Given current economic conditions, interest rates, and building costs all of these pie in the sky ideas in the comments give less credibility when it comes to these projects.

  10. But Bob, government can make them affordable (Or, is that accessible?) by subsidizing the cost. I think people in Sioux Falls should have basements.

    Does anyone know? Do these slabs developments in town have a common storm shelter, like near a community center or something? They should at least have that. Heck, most rundown trailer parks have one of those.


  11. VSG, it would be great if throwing money at the project (i.e. subsidies) would make it more viable. The trouble is the competiton with all these other housing builds along with the red tape involved in low income housing does not attract the labor or builders needed. There is enough demand for higher income housing and not enough supply in labor or materials for low-income housing. 3D printing homes still has too much of a capital commitment.

    As far as the basement issue I agree on the safety concerns, however basements for many lead to wet basements, condensation, mold, and other items which are difficult for low income folks to remediate not to mention radon. It’s more square footage to heat/insulate/electrify all in the name of eventual livable square footage. Even if you don’t live in a flood plain a significant rain event can cause water intrusion. Who knows maybe we wont get another 5-6″ downpour again?

  12. Builder Bob,
    I would contend that the aging population express the higher preference for on-grade, “zero step” entry into their homes (no step up to enter the home from the garage nor the front entry). This a perhaps a very fine detail, but an important distinction contrasted against “do not wish to have a basement”.

    Furthermore, a basement and on-grade entry, zero step home design are not mutually exclusive. In other words – you can have both.

    But what a perfect marriage – “developed land” surrounding Sioux Falls which is full of soil profiles which lack proper drainage married with homes under which we won’t place basements!

  13. VSG,
    I think the approach of some home design and building contractors would be to design and build into the interior structure of the ground floor, a fortified structure (e.g. concrete reinforcement of select interior walls). An interior bathroom; an pantry; an interior closet.
    Members of the household could retreat to that location in a storm emergency.

  14. I am not opposed to slab on grade, but not sure what the resale value for a home like this would be, I also don’t think these homes are for retired folks who normally stay in their existing homes (that they probably already own) until they move to an assisted living setting.

    I also don’t think basements are an issue if they have the proper drain tile and sump pumps.

    This development plan also includes other homes and townhouses with basements.

    I don’t build homes but have in the past and understand the material costs. It is a lot more expensive per square foot to build a custom home than a tract home that only has the bare minimum required. I would argue it is a lot cheaper to build tract homes side by side per square foot than luxury homes.

    Builders go where the money is.

    I have suggested to a councilor recently there needs to be some ordinances in place that require developers to build so many affordable housing units per regular units but I would be surprised if the council could even get 2 votes for it.

    Shape Places was specifically put in place to shield developers from having to get conditional use permits and since then it has been a free for all. Just look at the $50 million in TIFs we threw at the current DTSF projects that are almost exclusively condos and luxury apartments. Such a massive waste of tax deferral.

  15. Yes, fortified structures might be the answer, but are they building them? Is the city requiring them to be built? And if not, WHY NOT? Once again, the city is all about the developers and not the citizens.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Some say: ‘Let’s Go Brandon'”… “While I say: ‘Why Not Minot?’ …. )

  16. If you remember right, the bank safe in downtown Spencer, South Dakota was the only thing to survive. All of the citizens of that fine town should have made a run for and not on the bank there…. (… “But will they know to look here?”….. “I think we might be totally screwed now”…. 🙁 )

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