“Knowing that I did this all on my own is just an amazing feeling,” NeighborWorks® client Stephani Kunkel said. Spearfish has always been home to Stephani. Her family lives here, her job is here, and it is the community she wants to live in. “I grew up in Spearfish and I want to lay roots down here.”
Even with a good job and working her way into a management position, her options for quality, affordable rentals were limited. “I was living in a small studio apartment and felt like I would never be able to afford anything with more than one room.” Stephani said.
Like many young adults she did not think homeownership and a mortgage would fit into her budget. “Owning a home did not seem possible. I thought, I am only 23 and how can I do this on my own?” Stephani stated. It was not until her mother heard about South Dakota Housing’s Governor’s House Program that Stephani realized that homeownership was a possibility. Stephani contacted her local bank to look into her options and the idea of homeownership began to take form.
The Governor’s House was a perfect fit for Stephani. “There is plenty of room for me, and if I have a family some day there will be room to expand.” The 1,008-square foot house has two bedrooms and one bath, with the option to build a full basement which Stephani’s house will have. South Dakota Housing delivered and placed the home on the foundation in July, and NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources completed the remaining construction in September.
To create an affordable monthly payment Stephani also utilized Dakota Land Trust (DLT). DLT was established to create a supply of affordable homes for low to moderate-income households in the communities of Western South Dakota. DLT purchases the lot and places the land in a 99-year ground lease. Taking the cost of land out of her purchase price will allow her to have manageable monthly payments so she can afford her home.
Together NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources, Dakota Land Trust, USDA Rural Development, South Dakota Housing Development Authority, and First Interstate Bank created an affordable homeownership opportunity for Stephani. Her mortgage payment will be comparable to the rent that she was paying for the much smaller apartment, and she is investing in her future and community.
About Dakota Land Trust:
Thanks to the support from organizations throughout South Dakota, Dakota Land Trust (DLT) has entered into its sixth year of operation.
Dakota Land Trust offers unique homeownership opportunities for families in communities while maintaining affordable housing for the future. Their mission is to create opportunities and foster stewardship of permanently affordable housing for low-income and moderate income families and individuals.
Through this mission DLT has been able to provide affordable housing for 22 families throughout seven communities.
The partnerships and contributions from South Dakota Housing Development Authority, Black Hills Vision, City of Spearfish, The City of Rapid City, and NeighborWorks® Dakota Home Resources have been crucial for DLT’s success.
Dakota Land Trust looks forward to creating and strengthening new and existing partnerships that will allow DLT to reach its goal of assisting 10 families every year.