Governor’s House in North Sioux City

Governor’s Houses standard option – three bedroom with door to the right.

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

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 do it. Proponents, including Janklow, said 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.

The North Sioux City Housing Commission has brought eight Governor’s houses to the North Sioux City.

“We got the first two as spec homes in the Harvest Bend development and have sold six in the Wildflower Bend development,” Mardelle Cole said. “I think we have helped bring more rooftops of affordable houses to the city.”

The program is under the direction of the South Dakota Housing Authority. It has developed eight housing options.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.