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Grants for Grads program hopes to attract more SD workers

todayMay 6, 2024 8

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SOUTH DAKOTA (KELO)– Affordable housing has been a constant concern in KELOLAND over the past few years as rising interest rates make home ownership difficult for many, especially first time homebuyers.

In tonight’s Your Money Matters, South Dakota’s Housing Authority’s new grant program designed to help take away some of those barriers. 

It’s called Grants for Grads, and we haven’t seen it in over five years. So it’s up to 5% of the loan amount that they’ll give you. So really what that equates to is about $18,000 max of what the state will just give you 100% forgivable,” Mortgage banker Devin Malmgren said.

Devin Malmgren is a mortgage banker with Plains Commerce Bank; he says this new grant opportunity is a game changer for young people who have been hit the hardest with the recent changes in the housing market.

“Price points are higher than they’ve ever been. Interest rates are higher than they have been in recent memory,” Chas Olson, the Executive Director of the South Dakota Housing Development Authority said.

Cities with the most expensive homes in South Dakota

It’s why the South Dakota Housing Development Authority brought back this grant program for people who have graduated from any accredited higher education program in the past five years.

“First and foremost, the goal is get workers back to the state and it helps with the affordability component. And then there’s just a natural trickle-down effect that helps with local businesses being able to attract workers, you know, hospitals, schools, all that sort of thing,” Olson said.

“We lived down in Florida for a few years, I think for about a year. We went looking at houses. We put in some offers. Never worked out down here,” South Dakota native Cassie Galloway said.

Now Alcester native Cassie Galloway and her family are moving back to South Dakota to purchase their first home. She says the Grants for Grads program is going to make a big impact on their family’s finances.

“It’s a good opportunity for a lot of people. I think it’s just a really tough market right now, so any kind of help is really beneficial,” Galloway said. “Also, hopefully, encourage more people to come there.”

“That’s why this program is so, so important right now is because it’s going to make the affordability more attainable and lower their monthly payment, and obviously mitigate any cash to close so they won’t have to put any money down or do at closing. So you can really get into a house with zero downpayment at closing,” Malmgren said. “From a payment perspective, it could lower your payment by about $180 per month.”

The Grants for Grads program is for first time home purchases up to $385,000. The state hopes to give out roughly 1,000 of these grants over the next year.

To see if you qualify for the program, start by visiting with a local mortgage banker listed on the SD Housing website.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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