Governor’s houses have long been a source of affordable housing in South Dakota. The charts below show the top 10 communities in South Dakota and the number of Governor homes in Union and Clay counties.

Elk Point Governor’s houses

Five Governor’s houses fill the corner of Walnut and Jefferson Streets in Elk Point. All were brought in by Elk Point Housing and Redevelopment Corporation and sold to private individuals.

The program was started by Governor Bill Janklow. Besides affordable housing, the program provides vocational skills to inmates at the Mike Durfee prison in Springfield.

When it first started, the program was opposed by home builders who said private enterprise should provide the homes. Proponents, including Janklow, maintained private contractors were not building homes at that price point. Also many subcontractors started doing foundations, garages and other work they were capable of doing but was not available.

Initially for private investment only, the program has been expanded to include communities, housing authorities, economic development corporations and private investors.

Governor’s houses in Elk Point were originally all private investment. City Administrator Derek Tuttle said there are a number of the older homes scattered throughout the city. In the last several years, Elk Point Housing and Redevelopment Corporation (HRC) has brought in five homes to sell as specs. They are located along Walnut and Jefferson Streets. HRC is looking for more lots to bring in additional homes.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.