State gives back unused federal housing funds

Gov. Noem urges that $18 million of the money go to SD tribes.

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Housing & Development Authority returned $81.5 million in unused Emergency Rental Assistance funds to the federal government Thursday.

In a letter to Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Adewale Adeyemo, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem supported the returning of funds and asked that $18 million of the funds be redirected to South Dakota tribes.

“South Dakota has the strongest economy of any state in the nation,” wrote Gov. Noem. “Our unemployment rate stands at 2.6%. We are leading the nation in personal income growth. Fewer than 2,500 South Dakotans are receiving unemployment benefits, and there are nearly 30,000 job openings statewide. With our low cost of living, low taxes, and high rates in-migration to our state, our state’s population – and our GDP – has experienced historic growth over the last two years.

“As a result, the millions of dollars in rental assistance that the federal government provided to our state are simply not necessary. Our renters enjoy something even better than government hand-outs: a job.”

In asking that $17.9 million of the funds go to South Dakota’s tribes, Gov. Noem said three of the tribes identified a need for additional assistance for their members.

“Throughout this pandemic, my administration worked closely with South Dakota’s nine tribal sovereign nations. Our office looked for ways to partner with them over the last two years and provided any additional help that we could. They identified this as one area where we can work together.”

At the tribes’ request, $14.6 million would go to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, $1.7 million to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and $1.7 million to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.

Categories: South Dakota News