Affordable Housing Partnership Builds New Home Where True Blight Stood in 2014

In November 2013, the City of Sioux Falls first highlighted the former home at 503 South Summit Avenue due to a high number of code enforcement violations and police calls associated with the property. In August 2014, that house was demolished to the cheers of neighboring property owners. The City of Sioux Falls Community Development Department and Affordable Housing Solutions recently partnered to construct a new, affordable home on the lot and revitalize a neighborhood.

“The City of Sioux Falls is truly invested in helping stabilize neighborhoods. Typically, when we construct new homes in core neighborhoods, it isn’t too long before others begin fixing up their homes as well. This new home also adds to the affordable housing inventory we can offer in Sioux Falls,” says Les Kinstad, Affordable Housing Manager for the City of Sioux Falls.

The first complaint regarding 503 South Summit Avenue was reported to the City in January 2012. After many citations and other correspondence with the property owner and lienholder, the City issued a Notice to Vacate in fall 2013, secured the structure by boarding up windows and doors, and had debris removed. At that time, the property was damaged beyond repair and considered true blight to the neighborhood. In August 2014, the City pursued demolition through the City Attorney’s Office.

The new home built at the location is a four-bedroom, two-bath home with 945 square feet on the main floor, an additional 600 square feet of finished space on the basement level, and a double-car garage. The new home has been sold to a family that is income-eligible and at or below 80 percent of the area median income. The sales price was $162,000, which includes $25,000 of down-payment assistance from the South Dakota Housing Development Authority.

Ten new affordable single-family homes are either just completed or still under construction, and demand is high since purchase offers have already been presented on many of the properties. Another affordable home within one block of this property also is under construction.

The revitalization process often begins when someone reports a potential violation of City ordinance. The City is required to complete its due diligence, both with a potential violator and with the neighbor reporting it. Those steps often take time, and property owners always are given the opportunity to make the situation right. To report any property maintenance violation, including unshoveled sidewalks, nuisance vegetation, or other ordinance violations, call 978 6900 during normal business hours, or leave a voice message after-hours or on weekends.