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GROW SD Spearheads Housing Development in Sisseton: A Community Collaboration for Growth

Friday, May 10, 2024

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Sisseton Mayor, Terry Jaspers: "Any time we can make new housing or improve existing housing, there is a positive impact. We have new housing available to aid in recruiting new professionals to our health care and school systems. GROW SD has been the most effective in developing new housing in Sisseton in recent years. It takes a combined effort by several stakeholders in a community to impact available housing."

Sisseton, South Dakota, has witnessed a significant housing development initiative led by GROW SD, which addresses crucial community needs and fosters positive change. In an exclusive interview with the COO of GROW SD, Lori Moen, we delve into the critical factors behind choosing Sisseton, the collaborative planning process, and the tangible impacts of housing development on the local community.


Identifying Needs and Collaboration: A Strategic Approach

GROW SD's decision to focus on Sisseton stems from a strategic collaboration with the Sisseton Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and a grant from NeighborWorks America. The partnership facilitated capacity building and aimed to address the housing challenges faced by the community. The Big Idea Grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation further empowered GROW SD to work with SEDC, facilitating replicable solutions for rural housing challenges.

The COO highlighted the crucial role of the SEDC, which had acquired a suitable property for development. GROW SD provided expertise in marketing, recruitment, and navigating the complexities of development, working alongside local stakeholders, including SEDC staff, board members, and the local attorney.  The city of Sisseton determined a Housing Study would accurately address the housing needs from a third-party perspective.  GROW SD partnered with the City of Sisseton and the South Dakota Housing Development Authority to finance the study.   This collaborative effort identified housing needs through a comprehensive analysis, confirming a substantial shortage of 16 homeownership and 66 rental units in Sisseton.

Overcoming Challenges: Building Beyond Obstacles

Despite the identified need for housing, challenges loomed, primarily around mitigating risks and guaranteeing commitment. The rising construction costs posed a significant obstacle, leading to "sticker shock" within the community.

After the design and planning process was solidified, the NESDCAP Board approved   new home development in Sisseton. To spur market interest, NESDCAP initiated the construction of two houses on SEDC lots, embodying a 3-bedroom, 2-bath concept to meet family housing needs. The journey involved exploring various options, including pre-built and modular homes, and overcoming obstacles in timelines and budgeting.

Grow SD house from living room

Positive Impacts and Future Sustainability

The housing development in Sisseton has already positively impacted the community. The initiative dispelled myths, educated the public, and fostered leadership growth through partnerships and community engagement.

The positive outcomes, however, come at a cost, with non-profits and "rural warriors" absorbing the risks of new home development. Sustainability requires collaboration with local governments, realtors, philanthropic organizations, and other stakeholders. The COO acknowledged the ongoing appraisal challenges, emphasizing the need for innovative financing solutions. The South Dakota Housing Opportunity Fund offers potential assistance, but its limited availability underscores the need for diverse funding sources to bridge appraisal gaps and minimize risks.

“Housing should outlive its existing community.”

GROW SD's housing development project in Sisseton is a testament to effective collaboration, community engagement, and innovative problem-solving. The initiative addresses the immediate housing needs and lays the groundwork for future growth and development in rural communities. As communities strive to succeed and progress, the impact of new housing goes beyond shelter—it signifies vibrancy, growth, and a collective vision for a thriving future. COO Lori Moen emphasizes, 'We are growing leadership understanding of the whole housing development arena, encompassing lot development, financing, and out-of-the-box thinking. Most importantly, we foster courage and perseverance to propel communities into the next generation. Housing should be built with the vision that it will outlive its existing community."

At GROW South Dakota, we understand the importance of homeownership and offer various housing solutions to support your journey. We aim to empower South Dakota residents to make informed home and investment decisions. Contact us today. 

Category: News

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GROW South Dakota Has had a Remarkable Few Years!

GROW SD in 55 + years has met various housing needs with over $39 million in home improvement projects impacting more than 9,500 individuals.  Plus over $24 million in home mortgage and down payment loans helping approximately 1600 homeowners into new homes!

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GROW South Dakota

GROW South Dakota
104 Ash Street East
Sisseton, SD  57262
Phone (605) 698-7654
Fax (605) 698-3038