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Sturgis teams with SEDC to conduct housing study

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Sturgis teams with SEDC to conduct housing study

STURGIS, S.D. – Sturgis Economic Development Corp (SEDC) has partnered with the City of Sturgis and the Augustana Research Institute for a Housing Needs Study to better understand the community’s housing needs.

Suzanne Smith with the Augustana Research Institute said she encourages everyone to take a minute and fill out the survey.

She said the study will gather data about the current housing stock and projections for housing needs out for the next 10 to 15 years in Sturgis.

“This data will help the community leaders come together and plan for successful and data-informed development,” Smith said.

Smith said it only takes a few minutes to share your thoughts on housing needs and opportunities in Sturgis, and your responses are confidential.

“This is an invaluable contribution to shaping Sturgis’ housing future,” Smith said.

SEDC hosted a public forum on Sept. 25 for residents to learn more about the upcoming Sturgis housing needs study and share their thoughts.

Kirk Chaffee, District 29 House Representative and former Meade County Equalization Director, said at that meeting that thoughtful growth is a necessity.

“There are those that say they don’t want any more people moving to our town. My feeling is that once you stop growing, you start dying. Mathematically, you have to have growth,” he said. “But growth for the sake of growth is just a cancer, so you want to have very thoughtful growth. That’s why I’m glad we’re doing this survey.”

The plan must include a mix of housing options as well as businesses, Chaffee said.

“We’ve been searching for the right ingredient mix for 30 to 40 years,” he said. “We need to find the perfect balance of commercial businesses that will draw in the rooftops.”

Chaffee said he is perplexed about development in Sturgis because there certainly is demand, but the supply just hasn’t seemed to follow. He and others at the meeting on Sept. 25, said the reason most likely is the cost of housing materials and the interest rates on home loans.

The last time a housing study was done in Sturgis was 2019. That study identified current housing availability as well as needs based on population. Previous studies have shown that Sturgis has a significant housing need in all areas, including entry level owner occupied and rentals.

That study found that to address demand, 40 to 45 houses should be built in Sturgis annually.

From 2001 to 2006, the city of Sturgis averaged 32 housing units a year, from 2007 to 2013, the city averaged 20 units per year. and from 2015 to 2019, the city has averaged 40 units per year.

You can find the survey at: https://augie.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4Mx7wY8s2vXYZRs

If you prefer a print copy, they are available at City Hall, 1040 Harley-Davidson Way, Sturgis.

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