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Rapid City housing project could threaten federal funding

August 31, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Rapid City could have federal funding recalled on an unbuilt affordable-housing project after a long period of inaction, putting future federal grants to the city at risk.

The city’s Legal and Finance Committee discussed solutions Wednesday for the proposed Freeland Ranch Community development. The project has received a total of nearly $195,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The proposed development of single and multi-family apartments and homes, tiny houses and commercial office space received $120,000 in 2015 and $75,000 last year in federal grant funding. More than half the housing units would be affordable and workforce housing, said Kent Hagg, president of nonprofit Freeland Ranch Community Inc.

But the development hasn’t progressed since receiving the 2017 grant money designated for road and infrastructure designs. The delay has presented a problem to the city’s affordable housing availability, as well as to its immediate compliance with and future retrieval of federal grant funding, the Rapid City Journal reported .

Hagg said the project delay is partly due to city bureaucracy.

The federal government will recall the 2015 and 2017 grant fund allocations if the project is not constructed, completed and occupied by 2020. HUD would also deduct $195,000 from all future housing grant awards to the city, severely hampering the city’s Community Development Block Grant program.

“We’re getting down to the wire here,” said Barb Garcia, who oversees the city’s housing grant allocations.

Without significant progress, Garcia would have to rescind the funding from Freeland Ranch to give her office enough time to reallocate the funds to another worthy project that must then be completed by July 2020.

“We still want to see it happen,” Garcia said. “But the timing of it’s just taking too long right now.”

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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