During the meeting last night the council and mayor’s office were throwing money at affordable housing like nobody’s business (even though they all know the real problem is low wages).

While there is a lot of pass thru with federal dollars going towards most of this spending you have to ask if some of these issues could be fixed with legislation instead just more handouts to developers and landlords?

The city council could spend ZERO dollars and pass a series of ordinances that address how employment is advertised in the city limits (must list starting pay) having a city minimum wage of $15 per/hr, zoning and development changes to require developers to build a certain percentage of stock as affordable rents.

There are probably hundreds of tax free, cost neutral ordinances the council could pass that would put a huge dent in our housing struggles.

The developers and retailers throw the same red flags everytime ‘We are leaving town, never build here again, closing down my Sioux Falls location!!!’ So you are going to build a $30 million dollar high end apartment complex in Kimball? Or maybe Platte will have you for a $100 million dollar hotel and convention center on the river?

Give me a break! You would adjust to the changes and you would still get all your greedy little tax breaks!

The city council has the power of the pen, but lately all they have been using it for is to sign checks.

Last night after the council passed their $800 million dollar budget I decided to do a little digging.

Sioux Falls, SD with a population of 200K had a 2024 budget of $800 million ($4,000 per person)

Omaha, NE with a population of 500K had a 2023 budget of $1.35 billion ($2,700 per person)

Lincoln, NE with a population of 300K had a 23/24 budget of $253 million ($810 per person)

I find the disparities interesting.

5 Thoughts on “Sioux Falls City Council has the authority to put a dent in the affordable housing crisis

  1. Jackalope on September 14, 2023 at 6:44 am said:

    Affordable housing in Sioux Falls and elsewhere in SD are classic examples of privatized profits and socialized costs. Darn Republican Socialists!

  2. Mike Lee Zitterich on September 14, 2023 at 8:15 am said:

    This is always an interesting topic, but as I listened to the discussion this past week, I am still confused on how government can make Housing affordable without the fact, it has to subsidize the housing market through tax subsidies, credits. I do not agree with Sierra on ‘rent caps’ cause it harms private investment in the market. I do not believe in restricting a mans income, this should be done through the free market of making choices, etc. No different than someone like me who buys and sells used cars. I play the market, trying to help those who need help. I restricted my profits on cheap cars to help people, while working with themt to repair and fix those cars. Rather than me buying the car for $1000, spending another $1000 to fix it, then selling for $3,500 which always leads to payments. I chose to buy that car for $1,000, sell for $1,500, then working with people to fix them over time. My customer therefore has the EQUITY, and the possibly to sell their vehicle for $3,500, which in my mind helps the economy. It also provides a future income to my fathers repair shop as we work with those people…

    So in turn, ‘we’ should be doing more TIF Districts such as the Nielson concept being built in Northeast Sioux Falls, where he agreed to lower his margins, to keep the house prices as low as possible, allowing lower income people to buy them. Concepts such as this, is risky for the developer, however, they are assuming that risk, for the ability to work with people, by lowering their margins..

  3. D@ily Spin on September 14, 2023 at 8:38 am said:

    Sodom and Gomorrah Falls happened from a few greedy billionaires and dictator mayors they own. The council might now finally have begun to recognize what Authoritarian Charter has done to what was once the best midsize city in the nation. It’s 25 years of vultures that can no longer survive on road kill. A 3/4 billion budget is unjustified. Steering money into more welfare development only breeds more crime. Retail space everywhere in the city is vacant. What works now is pawn and head shops. What was once the middle class can’t make enough to leave town and must pawn their wedding rings or sell blood to survive. Pot paraphernalia shops are an underground for drug deals. One must get and stay stoned here. Some manage to buy a bus ticket out of town. The terminal on West Maple is busy. Those leaving are instructed not to look back else they turn into salt.

    All councilors same day resign? Rejoin the people. Your political skim is not measurable nor is it worth what you’re doing to the community. Force the state to intervene with a New Democratic Charter? The syndicate would crumble. A 3/4 billion budget would not be misappropriated and fund some healing.

  4. Very Stable Genius on September 14, 2023 at 12:47 pm said:

    Sioux Falls is flush with cash, yet, we win the pothole contest every year. All developers want to do in this fine city is build Soviet housing (apartments) for most of us and dachas for Taupeville, or else Ceausescu type sky scrapers near our famed cascade.

    Oh, and speaking of those Ceausescu structures, many of them are what Frank Lloyd Wright would have called the creations of the “Glass Box Boys”. Wright was more about bring man into nature and perhaps some of our local developers could learn from that by coming down to earth with their ideas and priorities. Wright also taught us that form and function are one, while for the developers around here it appears to be funds, then forms for some, and for the rest, well, little or done.


  5. "Woodstock" on September 14, 2023 at 1:46 pm said:

    “Say, did you guys see where Boebert was recently kicked out of a theater?”…. “Man, just think how different history would be today if that same thing had happened to Lincoln”…. 🙂


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