skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

SD poverty-fighting group: Affordable home builders need to step up

play audio
Play

Wednesday, January 3, 2024   

January is National Poverty in America Awareness Month and in South Dakota, agencies assisting low-income individuals said access to affordable housing remains a pressing issue.

The U.S. Census Bureau puts South Dakota's poverty rate at 12.5%.

Shawn Burke, executive director of Western South Dakota Community Action in the Rapid City area, which helps eligible families navigate a range of assistance programs, said not having enough affordable housing units in his region has left many in a bind. Burke pointed out the higher cost of buying a home has had a cascading effect on people.

"They're renting or continuing to rent and then, the rents have gone up, and so, those people that were able to afford a decent place to rent are now forced into the less desirable places," Burke explained. "Then those people who could only afford that, they're on the street."

Burke added while landlords have the right to do it, they are becoming more selective about accepting Section 8 housing vouchers. He suggested developers and planners need to prioritize building more units free of cost barriers.

Around Rapid City, he said there is new housing activity because of the Ellsworth Air Force Base expansion. But it is a mixed bag, because some mobile-home residents are being displaced.

Burke acknowledged a silver lining -- those homes are being resold and, through local partnerships, could be repurposed for people in need of a landing spot. During Poverty Awareness Month, he hopes the public realizes how the housing issue complicates the effort to escape poverty.

"If you're just trying to figure out where you're going to lay your head, to have a safe warm place for them to sleep in the wintertime, you're not thinking much about a job," Burke stressed. "It's not your primary concern."

Burke's office serves 14 counties in the western half of South Dakota. He said while other community action agencies are more geared to assist with direct housing aid, his team focuses on helping folks afford to stay in their home, including weatherization assistance to keep energy costs lower.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021