Habitat for Humanity finds two lots to build homes on after Mitchell City Council OKs transfer

“They have no use for the city, so it makes sense to put affordable houses on them and get them on the tax rolls,” Mayor Bob Everson said of the lots that sit along the cul-de-sac of 500 South Langdon Street.

Mike Asmus carries a sheet of plywood to be secured for the flooring for the latest Mitchell Area Habitat for Humanity home being built along South Kimball Street in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Matt Gade

The Mitchell City Council freed up two vacant lots on Monday for a local nonprofit organization to build a pair of affordable homes.

With the council’s approval to transfer the lots to the Mitchell Area Development Corporation (MADC), it sets up the lots to become the site where Habitat for Humanity will build their next homes in Mitchell. The lots came at a crucial time for the organization, as Mayor Bob Everson said Habitat for Humanity recently ran out of lots to continue building affordable homes in the community.

Since the lots – which are located along the 500 block of South Langdon Street – have been sitting vacant for several years, Everson said providing the lots for the nonprofit organization to build additional affordable homes “makes the most sense.”

“They have no use for the city, so it makes sense to put affordable houses on them and get them on the tax rolls,” Everson said.

After searching endlessly for another lot, Pat Soukup, board president of Mitchell’s Habitat for Humanity, commended the city and council for making the deal happen.


“The obstacles we have to overcome to find buildable lots in the city of Mitchell are hard. There are two obstacles we have to cover, with one being finding the lot and the other being the resources,” Soukup said. “I just cannot thank you enough for what you have done for us with these lots.”

Habitat homes are built by the hands of volunteers who come together to turn an aspiring homeowner's dream into reality. The construction of Habitat homes are provided by the organization’s volunteers at no cost to the homeowner, but homeowners are responsible for the mortgage payments. Through its partnerships, the organization offers an affordable mortgage for its homeowners that is within their financial means.

Since being established in Mitchell, the organization has built 9 homes in the community. Each homeowner that Habitat builds a house for is selected by the organization through an application process.

For Geri Beck, CEO of the MADC, providing the lots to a group she says has been “great” for Mitchell is why the organization she leads exists.

“It’s what we are here for,” she said. “Habitat is a great organization with great people behind it.”

Beck pointed to the location of the lots that sit along the majestic Dry Run Creek trail as “perfect” for a pair of affordable homes to be built on. The homes would be constructed on adjacent lots at the end of a cul de sac stretching from South Langdon Street.

In recent years, bringing more affordable housing options to Mitchell has emerged as a shared goal among city officials. City Councilman Marty Barington has pointed to the lack of affordable homes in the city as a major reason Mitchell has been struggling to address the ongoing worker shortage, which has worsened amid the pandemic.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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