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IN THIS EDITION: 'Elevating' the Strategic Housing Trust Fund & more!
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New housing trust fund gets big boost from Elevate RC


The need for more affordable housing options is not a new problem or one that is unique to Rapid City, but leaders in philanthropy, government, business, and the housing industry are working together on new and unique approaches to addressing the issue locally.

Elevate Rapid City recently made a major contribution to the Affordable Housing Initiative by committing $150,000 to the Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation.

“The Collective Impact Housing Summits and resulting 2018 Affordable Housing Profile and Market Analysis included ‘housing trust funds’ as a potential new resource to address our housing shortage,” BHACF Executive Director Liz Hamburg said. “The Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund will be a new tool in our toolkit that will align with state and federal resources to help create and preserve rental housing inventory for our most financially-challenged residents and our workforce.”

“We contributed to the Strategic Housing Trust Fund because the affordability and availability of housing is absolutely critical to the prosperity of the region,” Elevate Rapid City President and CEO Tom Johnson said.

“Elevate’s mission is to elevate the Rapid City region for all," he added. "We know that if people and families have to spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on the cost of housing each month, it’s too much, and prosperity goes down, not up."

Housing trust funds are designed to combine various sources of funding for localized strategic housing needs, according to attorney and BHACF Housing Consultant David Lust.

To address short-term needs, the fund is being used to assist residents with rental and utility assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Half of Elevate’s contribution was designated for that purpose; see related story below.) But Lust says the long-term goal is to create more workforce housing in the Rapid City area by providing incentives for new development and the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing housing.

“The overall objective of the trust fund is to create flexible, low-interest loans for developers and property owners to increase the stock of workforce rental units. Those funds will be revolving, so it is more akin to an investment than it is a grant,” Lust explained. “As we build up the base funding, we will, in turn, be able to fund more projects via loans. The proceeds of those loans will help us address the housing shortage with a long-term perspective, which is the only way to begin to tackle the issue.”

The trust fund is held and managed at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, and a nine-member advisory group will make recommendations for the release of funds in the form of grants and low-interest loans. Hamburg says those recommendations will go to the BHACF Board of Directors, which provides the ultimate oversight and control of the funds.

The advisory group is chaired by Alan Solano, the President and CEO of the John T. Vucurevich Foundation, and includes representation from the City of Rapid City, Pennington County, the legal sector, philanthropy, development, and property management.

“The Strategic Housing Trust Fund is the result of the collective impact work that has been ongoing over the past few years in Rapid City, working to solve the pressing need of affordable housing in the area,” Solano said. “Using a collective impact approach brings a broad array of stakeholders together under a shared vision.”

While the trust fund is still in the start-up phase, Solano says the initial response from the local philanthropic community and Elevate Rapid City has been very strong.

“It’s as critical to the future of the area as anything we do,” Johnson said. “Without a quality and affordable place to live, you can’t keep a workforce, and you can’t raise incomes. It's not even debatable. It's just a fact."

For more information on the Collective Impact Affordable Housing Initiative, the BHACF's Strategic Housing Trust Fund, and Elevate's generous contribution to the fund, click HERE.

 

Below: The types of occupations that would benefit from additional affordable housing options.

Trust fund helping locals with immediate housing needs

Half of Elevate Rapid City’s $150,000 contribution to the Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund is designated for immediate housing-related needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Short-term uses of the trust fund, which is housed at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, include rental retention and economic assistance.
“Elevate Rapid City recognized the immediate need caused by COVID-19 and provided up to $75,000 for rental and utility assistance,” BHACF Housing Liaison David Lust said.

“Short-term, this Strategic Housing Trust Fund can help alleviate some of the challenges homeowners and renters are facing with the COVID-19 crisis,” Elevate Rapid City President and CEO Tom Johnson said. “Rent and homelessness mitigation is a critical first step.”

Pennington County Health & Human Services is the initial contact for area residents seeking such help.

“HHS is tracking calls and services provided and referring individuals to needed services from other providers,” BHACF Executive Director Liz Hamburg said. “This collaborative effort came about through the COVID-19 relief response, but we believe this system will continue to best serve the needs of our community beyond our current pandemic response.”
$50K Food Security Donation

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation's Food Security Fund received a $50,000 donation in June from the Hillard Wealth Solutions Group at RBC Wealth Management.

“We are humbled to make this donation in light of the unprecedented challenges faced by some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” Managing Director David Hillard said.

The funds were distributed immediately to provide support to four local nonprofits: Black Hills Works, the Club for Boys, Youth & Family Services, and Young Life.

Thank you to David and company!
Summer Food Grants

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation awarded $17,500 in grants to three area school districts that provide free, well-balanced meals to children – and often parents and grandparents too – during the summer months.

Rapid City Area Schools and the Meade School District received $7,500 and $5,000, respectively, to cover the cost of meals for adults (ages 18-59) who accompany kids to their summer food pick-up sites.

BHACF also matched a $5,000 grant from United Way of the Black Hills to the Custer School District to help offset transportation costs for food delivery to students in rural parts of that district.

"Together, building the most caring community."

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