The Fort Pierre Development Corporation (FPDC) Housing Committee met yesterday hard on the heels of their joint meeting with and Pierre Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO). Besides reviewing their 2022 Housing Study presentation made by Scott Knudson of Community Partners Research, Inc., the group discussed the immediate and ongoing need for employee housing.
How big is the need for employee housing? One committee member has had an employee living in a tent in a local park. A lack of workforce housing continues to plague other locations in the state. Most people in the workforce (construction, health and service industries) don’t need $250,000, 2,400 sq. ft. homes. There is a real need for modest homes of around 1,000- 1,200 square foot priced for less than $150,000. Add a basement and the home can accommodate a family.
FPDC and PEDCO shared the cost ($17,000) of the 2022 Housing Study. As a city of less than 5,000 in population, Fort Pierre’s share of the cost was $7,500, half of that was provided by South Dakota Housing Development Authority. FPDC Executive Director, Dave Bonde, said, “The Housing Study is necessary to obtain state and federal grants which require a housing study.
A final draft of the 2022 Housing Study will be available at the FPDC office some time in December. The study revealed weaknesses in the 2020 Census Report which was anticipated. However, it did put some numbers to overall need such as recommending 300 and 350 rental units be added in the two communities in the next five years.
It was this need for rental units that the FPDC Housing Committee is most concerned with. The Yellowstone Senior Living Facility and Phase 2 apartments are expected to help but individual housing units for employees is a more pressing need.
With that being said, members of the Housing Committee are looking into a larger version of the “tiny home” idea and modular type structures like what exists at North Star Manufactured Housing Community in Pierre. The Committee discussed the restrictive ordinances on these types of homes and how they might be modified to fit the codes or how the ordinances might be changed to accommodate the smaller homes.