Black Hills Area Community Foundation receives award for affordable housing work

BLACK HILLS, S.D. — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development along with the Council on Foundations recognized the Black Hills Area Community Foundation June 23 for their work to help create more affordable housing through public-philanthropic partnerships.

Black Hills Area Community Foundation CEO Liz Hamburg accepted the award from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge during a virtual ceremony.

“We are so excited to be one of five foundations in the nation to be recognized for our work addressing housing needs,” Hamburg said. “The City of Rapid City, Elevate Rapid City, the John T Vucurevich Foundation and so many stakeholders have contributed to this recognition. We are honored to work with so many engaged and invested partners.” 

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation houses and administers the Rapid City Strategic Housing Trust Fund which provides low-interest loans to developers to assist in the creation of affordable housing.

The foundation and housing trust fund advisory board have worked with Rapid City to receive $5 million in Vision Funds earlier in 2022, and advisory board members have also spent the last two years advocating for more state funding to help with housing across South Dakota.

A bill was also passed during this year’s legislative session that allocates $200 million to support housing infrastructure projects in the state.

“There is a lot of great work being done and I applaud each recipient,” Sec. Fudge said during the virtual event. “It is my hope that by uplifting the creative and stellar initiatives here today, we will encourage more foundations to work with us and support the work you are doing to provide more people access to stable, affordable and safe housing.”

The housing trust fund has already awarded one low-interest loan to a developer to create a 42-unit affordable housing project near downtown Rapid City. Applications from other organizations are also being considered.

“Housing is an intractable problem,” Hamburg said. “The work is complex and time consuming. I believe the only way to move the needle is with broad-based, consistent support, persistence and new ideas.” 

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