A second house is being built this year as part of LifeScape’s five-year initiative to increase affordable housing for Sioux Falls residents with special needs.
A building permit was issued April 29 to build a 5,475 square foot house at 3320 N. Fourth Ave. The single-level, eight-unit duplex will cost about $855,000 to build, the release states.
As Sioux Falls continues to grow, the need for safe, comfortable and affordable housing for residents with special needs also rises, said Jessica Wells, LifeScape foundation president.
LifeScape serves about 430 individuals in its supporting living program in Sioux Falls. There are 44 people on wait lists for housing assistance from the nonprofit, which has 38 housing locations scattered across Sioux Falls neighborhoods right now.
“These aren’t groups that we want to forget, and it’s important for them to have safe and affordable housing as well,” Wells said. “When you talk about affordable housing here, you’re talking about people who are on fixed incomes, whether that’s social security of medicare, and really have tight budgets. After you factor in living expenses, food and basic needs, some might only have $9 left at the end of the month to do fun things.”
The nonprofit plans to build one new house every year for the next five years to meet rising demand, in addition to renovating houses already in use around the city. Each house is built in a different part of town, and is meant to blend into neighborhoods, she added.
Overall, the multi-year project will cost around $5 million, Wells said.
“The biggest barrier is land,” Wells said. “To build a house that’s large enough for accessibility purposes, we’re looking at a lot that’s going to be about 15,000 square feet — essentially a double lot. More new developments are five years out from becoming reality. We’re trying to get ahead of the demand.”
The North Fourth Avenue house will be modeled similarly to the Continuum transitional house, which was completed in February on 4001 S. Hawthorne Ave. The Continuum home ended up costing about $1.2 million total, Wells said.