This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
Simplified: It's no secret housing shortages are affecting the Sioux Metro. Here's a look at how the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance (SMGA) is working – often behind-the-scenes – to find solutions for regional communities.
Why it matters
- As more people move to the Sioux Metro, more housing is needed. The region has been feeling the strain of housing shortages in recent years, and cities are looking for creative solutions.
- SMGA's role in all of this is to help connect cities, local economic development organizations and developers with the resources available in the state to make housing projects happen.
- SMGA also helps communities identify parcels of land for development, take advantage of special funding programs and conduct research to help get all parties on the same page about the housing needs in each community.
"Sioux Metro will continue to help its members work with developers to find solutions to meet all the housing needs across the region," President and CEO Jesse Fonkert said. "We're all working together to make these projects happen."
Give me an example of what this looks like
Let's look at Lennox.
The city just crossed $30 million in building permit valuation for the year – a new record, and it's only September – and part of that is due to a new housing project.
The housing project aims to bring 150 more affordable new-construction homes to Lennox, starting with the first phase of 50 homes.
It took several groups, including SMGA, to make it happen.
- SMGA helped Lennox find research on growth in the city, the demand for housing and what's happening regionally.
- The City of Lennox and the Lennox Area Development Corporation worked to find options to attract developers.
- Nielson Construction agreed to a project of up to 150 homes (right now 50 are permitted) in exchange for tax-increment financing (TIF).
- Lincoln County helped Lennox finance the TIF.
That's five different entities working together to make one housing development, but that level of coordination and collaboration is often necessary.
And, if you ask City Administrator Nate Vander Plaats, it's effective.
"It's very obviously working in Lennox," he said. "We've got 50 homes going up in that development."
What happens next?
Housing is a top priority across the board in the communities served by SMGA.
- Other examples of successes include an ongoing housing project in Crooks and various projects in Harrisburg.
The economic development group is working, and will continue to work, to help cities connect all of the pieces of the puzzle to make these successful housing developments into a reality.