AP NEWS

Sioux Falls housing program to help low-income families

July 21, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An eastern South Dakota nonprofit and a local property management company are working together to help low-income families become homeowners.

The Hezekiah House program in Sioux Falls is the result of three years of discussion and planning, The Argus Leader reported . The program is a collaboration between Real Property Management Express and The Community Outreach ministry.

Community Outreach is leasing properties from Our Savior Lutheran Church, said Dane Bloch, the ministry’s executive director. There are six rental units available, which are located near Augustana University.

Rent payments will be put into a savings account for an eventual down payment on a house, Bloch said. Tenants will also receive homebuyer education and budget help.

“They’ll have down payment assistance through just paying their rent on time,” Bloch said.

Community Outreach provides Sioux Falls residents with assistance with transportation or finding a home. The ministry also gives an 18-week personal finance and budget course for low-income workers. The Hezekiah House program is the next step for the group’s programs and services, Bloch said.

“As an organization, we always thought that we were missing something,” Bloch said.

The group began exploring the idea for the program after volunteers noticed a gap in service, he said. The group was inspired by the Focus Community Strategies in Atlanta, Georgia, that was doing something similar.

Bloch said the group is planning a golf fundraiser to help raise money for the project. The organization hopes to start taking clients by November.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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