Social Programs

South Dakota Housing Development Authority and partner agencies are working to assist South Dakotans who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the related economic crisis by offering financial assistance to help stabilize their housing situation. The funding is provided to South Dakota through the CARES Act.

If you are unable to pay mortgage, property insurance on your home, or utilities (non-government services) because of the pandemic, short-term financial assistance may be available.

General Questions - Homeowner

To be eligible, a household must:

  • Be a South Dakota resident.
  • Legally reside in the United States.
  • Be financially impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. 
  • Have current household income that does not exceed 115% Area Median Income (AMI) for homeowners, as outlined on the "Homeowner Income Guidelines".
  • Owe past due mortgage, insurance or utilities (i.e. water, sewer, electricity, propane/natural gas, trash) or be unable to pay upcoming mortgage or utilities due to the financial impact.

Yes. If you first received assistance in 2020. This is a new program with new funding so you will need to submit a new application.

If you have received assistance in 2021, please do not submit another application for additional assistance. Instead, please refer to your tokenized email and contact the agency processing your 2021 application and they will assist you with requesting additional financial assistance.

Yes. You must demonstrate negative economic or financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak.

Partner agencies across South Dakota are available to help households complete an application and provide financial assistance. Once determined eligible, you will be asked to complete the full application and will be expected to submit required documentation before assistance is provided.

SDHDA is partnering with the following agencies to assist households, process applications and disburse financial assistance. The application can be completed on-line and can be found on the following websites.

Helpline Center - Statewide

East River Legal Services - Statewide

Codington County Welfare - Watertown

Grow South Dakota - Sisseton

Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership - Madison

Lutheran Social Services - Sioux Falls

Minnehaha County Human Services - Sioux Falls

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources - Deadwood

Pennington County Health & Human Services - Rapid City

Rural Office of Community Services, Inc. - Wagner

Western SD Community Action - Rapid City

South Dakota Housing Development Authority - Pierre

Yes, you can access and complete the application via your smartphone and upload pictures of the required documentation.

You will receive an email indicating that your application has been received. This tokenized email will be your access to your application so it is very important that you do not lose this email. You will use this tokenized email to log back into the application to check your applications status, upload additional documents if necessary, exchange messages with your case worker and potentially apply for additional funding.

Upon submission, your application will be assigned to one of the partner agencies and they will be in contact with you for any additional documents or information that may be necessary.

If you are unable to find your tokenized email you will need to contact any agency assisting with SD Cares. The agency will be able to resend your email.

Yes, all unemployment benefits, including any pandemic unemployment assistance for COVID-19, should be included as income.

Housing statuses eligible for assistance include being at risk of losing housing or having already lost housing because of COVID-19 circumstances. This includes homeowners and households doubled up with another household.

Households that are literally homeless without a nighttime residence are not eligible. Households in such a circumstance should seek alternative resources such as Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funding or by contacting 211 Helpline Center.

Yes. Housing assistance is being provided through CARES Act funding and this funding cannot be used to replace government revenue. Housing assistance cannot be provided to cover the cost of government provided utilities or for payment of real estate taxes.

Assistance can be paid in all South Dakota counties.

Applications can be submitted electronically. If you need assistance in applying, simply call 211 and they will assist you with the process.

Upon review of your application, staff will ask you to supply any additional documentation that is needed. The partner agencies, local public housing authorities, utility companies, libraries, your landlord, churches, and local government offices may be able to assist you with scanning and submitting documentation via email. All documents must include the applicant’s name.

Yes. Assistance will not require proof of ability to satisfy future housing expenses.

The amount of assistance received by each household will be based on each household’s circumstance. Each household may receive up to 12 months of assistance if determined necessary. All past-due mortgage and utilities back to March 13, 2020 will be paid first with remaining funds available for prospective (future) assistance.

No, we cannot use the funds for reimbursement. The payment must be made for an amount actually owed.

No, household stimulus checks are not included in calculation of income.

Yes. Households that are not yet past due are still eligible to receive assistance.

No. Application review and processing may take up to 10-14 days. Applicant and payee will be notified upon payment approval and issuance. Payments may take an additional 7-10 days to arrive.

Payments will be sent via check directly to the mortgage servicers and/or utility providers. Payment should arrive within 7-10 days after notification of an approved application. If payment is being made for municipal utilities, a two-party check may be issued and sent first to the applicant. The applicant will then endorse the check and send it to the municipal utility provider.

All applicants must be accessible by either phone or email. You may provide a release of information to authorize communication with a representative of yours that has an active phone number or email.

Applicants will be asked to supply tax returns, mortgage promissory note, proof of mortgage or utilities due, proof of income (or lack of income), a state- or tribally-issued ID, and release of information.

You can submit an application without attaching all the required documentation. However, this will most likely lengthen the application review process. Applicants will be contacted to request missing information or documentation.

A letter from your previous employer is the preferred documentation. In its absence, you can supply other documentation you believe demonstrates your loss of income. In the absence of proof of income or loss of income, you will be required to sign the Zero-Loss of Income Certification.

This is requested by the Federal Government to ensure our compliance with equal credit opportunity, fair housing and home mortgage disclosure laws. You are not required to furnish this information, but are encouraged to do. For race, you may check more than one designation. If you do not wish to furnish the information, please check the appropriate box.

Yes. SDCHAP can be used to help you catch up on unpaid utility bills.

Yes. Assistance can cover non-excessive late fees that were incurred March 13, 2020, or thereafter, and are the result of COVID.

No. SDHDA and the partner agencies do not act as an intermediary between homeowners or utility providers. Consider contacting the State Bar of South Dakota for legal assistance.

Yes. Households will only complete one application for all assistance requested.

Yes, payment for lot rent for manufactured homes is eligible. A lot rental verification or copy of the rental agreement is required prior to any payment being made.

Yes, if the home is the applicant’s primary residence, assistance can be provided with submission of the appropriate documentation.


If you are currently in a forbearance program, that has not expired, there is no risk of foreclosure so you would not be eligible to apply.

However, if the forbearance period has expired or will soon expire and you have been denied COVID-19 loss mitigation assistance to resolve the amount you were delinquent when the forbearance period expired, then yes you would be eligible to apply for assistance.

You are encouraged to contact your servicing agent to determine when your forbearance period ends, discuss how to resolve the delinquent payments at the end of the forbearance period and discuss whether you would qualify for a COVID-19 loss mitigation option.

When determining if SD CARES funding should be applied for, it is important for the homeowner to take into consideration the following:

  • Homeowner will need to make the payment for real estate taxes currently owed.
  • Is the homeowner able to make payments going forward?
  • Receiving SD CARES funding may eliminate any future opportunity for additional forbearance period or being able to access loss mitigation.

No, CARES Act funding cannot be used to pay property taxes. Assistance may only be provided for payment of principal, interest and insurance (PMI and property).