The NYU Furman Center’s Housing Solutions Lab has selected Rapid City as one of five city teams nationwide to participate in the 2023 Peer Cities Network – a national program for small and mid-size city leaders to develop innovative and equitable local housing solutions.

Why join a national cohort to talk about local housing?

Because two heads, or in this case five cities, are better than one.

Launching in May 2023, this eight-month-long opportunity will bring leaders from small and mid-size cities together to engage with their peers, policy experts, and housing researchers to address pressing local housing challenges. Areas of focus for this year’s Network Cities include environmentally sustainable development, mitigating displacement, equitable access to homeownership, and comprehensive housing planning.

Who’s on the Rapid City Team?

We at the John T. Vucurevich Foundation are pleased to join representatives from the City of Rapid City, Black Hills Area Community Foundation, and Elevate Rapid City.

Who are the other Peer Cities?

In addition to Rapid City, the other four teams participating in the 2023 Peer Cities Network are: Cheyenne, Wyoming; Skokie, Illinois; Jackson, Tennessee; and Olympia, Washington.

What does NYU Furman Center Housing Solutions Lab bring to the table?

The Lab and its partners will provide these cities with technical assistance in the areas of data analysis, community engagement, policy implementation, and more, while local housing officials will share insights and build connections based on their shared expertise.

What motivates the Rapid City Team?

 “The City values collaborative, innovative, and comprehensive strategies to address the most critical housing needs in the community,” said Michelle Schuelke, Community Enrichment Division Manager, City of Rapid City. “Many efforts are already underway, including the City’s 2019 Affordable Housing Policy, the creation of the Strategic Housing Trust Fund, and a recent housing study conducted in 2022. Joining a network of peers cities will foster knowledge exchange to advance new, as well as proven, methods to effectively implement housing solutions.”

“I am looking forward to being able to access the data and policy knowledge of the Housing Solutions Lab to explore solutions that can help us address some of the housing challenges Rapid City residents are facing. Learning about what similar cities nationwide are doing to address their own housing problems will be an invaluable resource,” added Laura Jones, Housing & Community Development Manager for Elevate Rapid City.

“As Rapid City continues to grow, we look forward to learning with other communities on how best to accommodate this growth while enhancing our quality of life and our neighborhoods,” said Alan Solano, CEO of the Vucurevich Foundation.

Liz Hamburg, CEO, Black Hills Area Community Foundation, also sees great potential in the collaborative effort. “This is an exciting opportunity for our city to engage with and learn from others and potentially improve policies and processes that affect housing,” Hamburg said.