Collaboration Advances Workforce Housing Project in Hot Springs
“This is an important day for the future of Hot Springs.” stated Mayor George Kotti. He added, “It has been a long time coming and the result of the efforts of a group of people working together to meet a critical need for affordable workforce housing in our community.”
The effort began with the commissioning of Community Partners Research, Inc. to complete a Housing Study for the city of Hot Springs. That study was completed in December 2016 and it projected a need for multiple types of housing in Hot Springs. City Administrator, Kim Barbieri pointed out, “The Southern Hills Economic Development Corporation (SHEDCO) invested $20,000 for a two-year Empower community engagement process under the guidance of Dakota Resources and mentored by community coach Kristi Wagner. The Empower Community Coaching process resulted in the Housing Initiative team, made up of city leaders, citizens, builders and real estate professionals who determined there was a critical need for housing in the range of $140K to $190K that young workers and their families who were beginning their careers could afford.”
The recent paving of the Boulder Falls and Back Nine subdivisions have created a building boom that has met the need for more expensive single family homes and duplex units. Mayor Kotti noted, “The City Council of Hot Springs stepped in and passed a plan that would utilize excess city properties to meet the need for more affordable workforce homes.”
One of those properties was the “old water fill station” lots along Canton Avenue. The city tore down an existing dilapidated storage garage and SHEDCO applied for a grant to complete an environmental assessment of the property which determined the lots were safe for home construction. The city prepared a Request for Proposal (RFP) that stipulated the property be developed into affordable workforce housing.
Holt Homes was the successful bidder and has developed a suitable plan to place five “Governor’s Houses” purchased from the South Dakota Housing Authority on the Canton Avenue lots. These quality homes will be sold to individual home buyers at a price that falls within the affordable workforce housing criteria that fits the Hot Springs demographic specifically. The city of Hot Springs will provide water and sewer to the property line and upon the sale of each home; the city will receive $5,000 from Holt Homes according to the provisions of the RFP. Mayor Kotti reiterated, “The city of Hot Springs is not getting into the housing development business. We are essentially priming the pump to stimulate future private development by showing that we do have a demonstrated need for homes in the workforce housing price range. This program is essential for future growth by assuring we have adequate housing for those coming to work at our State Veteran’s Home, the VA’s Hot Springs campus, our school or other businesses in our community.” The mayor added, “This is an exciting day for Hot Springs!”