Split Rock Apartments: Senior Housing for a Growing Community

Brandon is a fast growing community in South Dakota. The city, located just east of Sioux Falls, has one of the state's youngest populations. Per the 2010 census nearly half of the 3,000 households have children under age 18. Yet there was a need for senior housing in Brandon.

"We were hearing from families in Brandon that wanted their parents closer," said Mike Bannwarth, Finance Officer at St. Joseph Catholic Housing. St. Joseph's Catholic Housing was created by the Diocese of Sioux Falls in 1996 to specialize in affordable housing for families and seniors. The agency has developed 900 living units in Aberdeen, Brandon, Brookings, Mobridge, Pierre, Salem, Sioux Falls, Tea and Watertown.

The 33-unit Split Rock Apartment building was an opportunity to address a need that was not readily apparent, according to Bannwarth. The Brandon site was a good location, close to medical services and other shopping.

Split Rock was developed in partnership with SDHDA and Costello Companies of Sioux Falls. The $1.7 million project received $133,000 in Housing Tax Credits (HTC) and $700,000 in HOME funds in 1997. It was the first project in South Dakota that used both HOME and HTC funds together.

With SDHDA's help, St. Joseph Catholic Housing has also completed a number of rehabilitation projects to existing buildings across the state. "It's amazing what you can do. We've taken some properties that were pretty worn and rough, and rehabbed them completely. The residents love them and the communities appreciate them," commented Bannwarth.