Housing and Economic Development

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

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Housing and Economic Development

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 29th annual South Dakota Housing Development Association (SDHDA) Housing Conference in Pierre. This two-day learning and networking event explored options for affordable housing across South Dakota. This conference recognized the importance of housing and brought local, state, and national experts to enhance the awareness of programs, policies, and requirements.

The featured speakers included Stockton Williams, Executive Director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies, Jared McEntarffer, Regional Economist for the Black Hills Knowledge Network and Greg Gray, the President of Renaissance Unlimited, Inc. Stockton Williams focused on financing to make purchase possible, development and rehabilitation of affordable homes for low-and-middle- income households. Jared McEntarffer talked about his research in housing that included information on economic forecasting, human capital information, economics of education, and regional labor force development. And Greg Gray focused on leadership and helping people achieve goals.

The breakout sessions I chose to attend were the round table discussion on homeownership. In that session, we talked about the hurdles that first time homeowners occur when trying to buy their first home. I also attended partnerships to support residential construction, local housing initiatives, and where do we go from here. All of these break out sessions were informative and helpful with my daily work here at On Hand. I also had the opportunity to visit with other Economic Development Professionals and hear about their housing struggles and solutions in their communities.

So, I heard this question when I returned, “Why does our Economic Development Director need to attend a two-day housing event?”  Part of the mission of On Hand is to make sure that Hand County has safe, affordable housing. Our communities not only need jobs but we also need adequate and affordable housing to attract them to our area. I added many tools to my tool box last week that includes: resources, contacts, programs, and ideas to help attract people to come to Hand County and stay in Hand County. The tools that I added may help a family afford a new home, help someone have more money to spend in our community, or build their dream home. I strongly believe my two days out of the office were well spent. Want to learn more about housing and what I learned? Call me at 853-3098.

Category: From the Desk of Kecia Beranek