DEADWOOD, S.D. — Workforce housing in Deadwood in scarce, as over the years, according to officials from the Deadwood-Lead Economic Development Corporation, those workers have had a tough time finding a place to live.
The organization says that the difficulty also carried over to the job market in the area.
“We were turning workers away just because we didn’t have employee housing available for them,” said Emma Garvin, the executive director of the Deadwood-Lead Economic Development Corporation.
In May, the 2022 Housing Study for the area was released – recommending that the cities of Deadwood and Lead add around 160 to 180 rental units to combat the issue over the next five years.
The report also laid out many positive for the cities, including how their water and sewer infrastructure can support expansion. Also mentioned in the report were the school systems and the history of the area.
As far as limitations to the house market were concerned, the report mentioned the existing age of the current housing stock and the terrain of the area – an issue that makes it more expensive for construction companies to develop.
“It’s (about) finding a location that’s buildable,” said Dan Henderson, the president and CEO of Rayco Development.
Henderson’s company, along with other companies from around the area, broke ground on the Deadwood Ridge Apartment Complex, located just outside the city. He says that the project cost more to develop, leading to higher prices for housing.
“Where we’re standing here, this used to be a mountain that’s been completely leveled off, and there’s your limit,” Henderson said. “You’re very limited on where you can build in in this area.”
Apartments at the Deadwood Ridge complex will have around 63 one-bed room apartments available for $950 a month. Phase two of the project will include another 63 two-bedroom apartments, that will cost around $1,250 a month.
Despite the move in the positive direction, Garvin says the work can’t stop there.
“We’re going to need more units, and so I don’t think it’s going to be filled up and done. I think it’s going to just encourage other developers to do similar projects,” Garvin said.
For a full link to the Lead-Deadwood Area Housing Study Update, click here.