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 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

If you are unable to pay rent or utilities because of the pandemic, short-term financial assistance may be available.

General Questions - Rental

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 80% Area Median Income (AMI) for renter household, as outlined on the "Rental Income Guidelines".
  • Owe past due rent or utilities (i.e. water, sewer, electricity, propane/natural gas, trash) or be unable to pay upcoming rent or utilities due to the financial impact.
  • Not receiving rental assistance under any other federal program.

Yes. This is a new program with new funding so you will need to submit a new application.

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. Applicants will complete the on-line SD Cares application that can be found on the following websites:

Helpline Center, Statewide – https://www.helplinecenter.org

Codington County Welfare, Watertown - https://www.codington.org/welfare/

GROW SD, Sisseton – https://www.growsd.org

Interlakes Community Action Program, Madison – https://www.interlakescap.com

Lakota Funds, Kyle – https://lakotafunds.org

Lutheran Social Services – https://lsssd.org

Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, Pine Ridge – http://mazaskacdfi.org

NeighborWorks Dakota Home Resources, Deadwood – https://www.neighborworksdhr.org

Pennington County Health and Human Services, Rapid City - https://www.pennco.org/hhs

Rural Office of Community Services, Wagner – https://www.rocsinc.org

Western South Dakota Community Action, Rapid City – https://www.wsdca.org

South Dakota Housing Development Authority, Pierre – https://www.sdhda.org

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 the Helpline Center at 211.

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 renters 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 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 funding and this funding cannot be used to replace government revenue, pay internet or cell phone expenses.

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. There is no limit on the dollar amount of assistance provided for each month. All past-due rent and utilities back to March 13, 2020 will be paid first with remaining funds available for prospective (future) assistance. Funding will be available at least through September 30, 2021.

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 landlord and/or utility providers. Payment should arrive within 7-10 days after notification of an approved application.

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, lease agreement, proof of rent, 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 so. For race, you may check more than one designation. If you do not wish to furnish the information, please check the appropriate box.

No. Assistance can only be provided for costs incurred after March 13, 2020. There are additional resources that may be available to assist you with this cost. Please contact 211 or SDHDA for further assistance.

Yes. Assistance can cover non-excessive late fees that were incurred March 13, 2020, or thereafter, and are the result of COVID-19.

Yes, renters residing in income-based property with affordable rents, such as a low-income housing tax credit property may be eligible for assistance.

Households receiving a federal rental assistance payment or subsidy (Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher, CSBG, ESG, CoC, etc.) are currently NOT eligible for SD Cares Housing Assistance. Households receiving rental subsidies are encouraged to contact their local Community Action Program to determine eligibility for assistance under the Community Service Block Grant Program, to assist in payment of the tenant paid portion of their rent.

Maybe. The program may help with application fee, rental and utility payments and, on rare occasions, security deposits for new housing options.

SDHDA and the partner agencies do not provide legal counsel. Consider contacting the State Bar of South Dakota – for legal assistance.

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

No. Assistance is intended to help households preserve their current housing by paying rent and utility obligations that the household is unable to pay due to COVID-19 related circumstances. If you are homeless and need a temporary place to stay please contact our homeless service providers by contacting 211 or visiting SDHDA’s website for a service provider in your area.

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

Yes. A lease agreement will be requested from your landlord. If a lease agreement cannot be obtained, supplemental documentation may be used to evidence the rental payment amount.

A notice of eviction is not required. A statement from your landlord indicating the amount of past-due rent (and for which period of time) is acceptable documentation. A ledger created by the renter is not sufficient documentation of need.

No, you may not receive assistance if you rent from an immediate relative. An exception may be available if the rental arrangement is a reasonable accommodation or other extenuating circumstance. In this case, the applicant will need to provide a disability-related need to rent from the relative that is verified by a licensed professional involved in the applicant’s care or other supporting documentation.

Landlords cannot apply on behalf of tenants. However, landlords should notify their tenants of this program and may assist tenants in submission of their application.

Yes, if your situation was created by circumstances related to COVID-19. However, there may be additional services that are better suited for your household by contacting 211 or visiting SDHDA’s website for a homeless service provider in your area.