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What Is Considered Affordable Housing and Why it Matters

At CommonBond, we believe a stable home is the foundation for everything in life. Being able to afford a safe place to live is a key part of the American dream of opportunity—and as we expand into our fourth state, we know too many folks in Rapid City, SD can’t afford a safe, quality place to live.

There’s a massive shortage—nearly 3,500 units—of housing that’s affordable to the average worker in Rapid City. We also recognize that for community members who were already struggling financially, the COVID-related loss of income is catastrophic and makes housing stability that much more out of reach, despite best efforts to make ends meet.

 

What Is Considered Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing is defined by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a dwelling that a family or household can obtain–whether through rent, purchase or other means–that costs 30 percent or less of the household’s income. This metric looks at the cost of residing in the dwelling, including utilities.

 

Why Affordable Housing Matters

The cost of housing affects every aspect of a person’s life. When housing isn’t affordable, money that would go to other things, such as bills, food or savings, is instead funneled towards housing costs, potentially leading to disruption of utilities, malnutrition, and an inability to prepare for emergencies or work towards a better future.

What might not be as readily apparent is a key benefit of our work. Preserving and building more affordable housing certainly benefits our neighbors who rely on this housing—but investing in quality affordable housing also generates many social and economic benefits that help communities at large. In fact, a study by international accounting firm Ernst & Young examined CommonBond’s most basic service model and concluded that for every $1 spent, there were immediate savings to the public of $4. We’re excited to become good neighbors in South Dakota—as our CEO Deidre Schmidt said, “when you champion affordable housing in Rapid City, it becomes a more stable and vibrant community for everyone.”

Read more about how affordable housing benefits everyone in Rapid City—and how you can join us in being part of the housing solution—in this op-ed piece below. It was written by CommonBond Communities President & CEO Deidre Schmidt and published in the Rapid City Journal.

Affordable housing: what it is, and why it matters

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