Affordable and Appropriate Housing
CHALLENGES WE FACE IN OUR COMMUNITY:
1.) Many of our enrolled members live on very limited resources.
2.) Due to the lack of available units many of the homes have several families living in one unit.
3.) Effects of overcrowding create various social problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, child neglect and many other problems that could be addresses if appropriate housing units were available.
The Rural Housing Collaborative conducted a Pilot Program called the Home Address Program, our community was selected to be the Pilot Project. The goal of the program is to look at the housing needs right now and in the future. Wild Horse Butte Community Development Corporation wants the community to get involved, so we created a leadership team that consists of both Tribal and Non-Tribal members to get started in addressing our housing issues.
Our people need their own homes to be productive members in the society of our community. A "Housing Needs Study", was completed in June 2013 to determine exactly what issues we have and what we can do to get the issues resolved. Lack of house stock limits homeownership for those Tribal members who would like to purchase a home to begin to build increasing their personal assets.
Wild Horse Butte CDC became involved with the Native American Housing Coalition, to address the housing needs and issues. One of many issues was the lack of housing units available. There are very few available home and apartments to rent here on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Many of our Tribal members are forced to live off-reservation due to lack of housing. We need to communicate thoroughly to make sure we get the adequate services that we need. We also need to stay involved with our community to keep united.
Sample Projects we have completed
Built a Handicap ramp
Repaired Roof for an Elder
Repaired Water Lines
Repaired Water and Sewer Lines
Installed Handicap accessible bathroom
A Brief History of Housing Challenges
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a large land base tribe. The early history of housing on the reservation was small homesteads and cabins. There were limited rentals available and were sub-standard and little more than shacks. There were no homes for purchase, even if the family had the resources to purchase a home. No lenders would provide a mortgage to tribal members Pine Ridge Reservation is trust land.
In 1973 the first homes were constructed in the LaCreek District by HUD. Due to the lack of infrastructure, (water, sewer and roads) Cluster housings were developed. In the cluster housing HUD provided the needed infrastructure. In 1973 LaCreek District Sunrise Housing was developed. Twenty five homes were constructed. The homes were federal low-income housing. Since that time fifty more homes have been built. Presently the homes are maintained by the Oglala Lakota Housing Authority.
As the population of our district grew the number of homes did not. The first homes that were constructed in 1973 are now 30 years old and are in disrepair. The newer home although, not as old are not in any better condition. Due to the lack of funding from the federal government the homes are not maintained and are not energy efficient.
Many of our enrolled members live on very limited resources and the utility bills associated with heating these homes has become cost prohibitive. During the winter month’s families lack the resources to keep their home heated. Due to the lack of available units many of the homes have several families living in one unit. There are a number of homes that have up to 20 people living in one home. The effects of overcrowding create various social problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, child neglect and many other social problems that could be address if appropriate housing were available. Our families need their own space to raise their families and become productive members of our community.
In August of 2012, Wild Horse Butte CDC applied to the South Dakota Rural Housing Collaborative, which was conducting a pilot program called the “Home Address Program”. Four communities across the state of South Dakota were selection based on applications submitted. WHBCDC was the champion to coordinate the project; a housing leadership team was developed that consists of various tribal and non-tribal members to begin addressing the housing shortage. With funding from the Home address Program, South Dakota Housing Authority and WHBCDC, a “Housing Needs Study” was completed. The study had recommendations to address the housing shortage. WHBCDC applied for a small grant to conduct a community event to talk about housing and give a report on the study. This event was held June 15, 2003. It was through this initiative that funding for home, repair and first time home buyers project were developed.
WHBCDC has worked in partnership with the USDA Rural Development concerning housing. The USDA Rural Development, Rural Housing Service offers grants of $7,500 for home repair for low income 62 or older elders. The funds provide needed repairs on their homes. WHBCDC has acted as the liaison to connect the home owners and RD. To date a total of eight elderly home have been repaired and we are working on funding for a six additional homes. It should be noted that WHBCDC does not receive any funding for this work.