Home owner, Clara High Elk, Dupree, SD was thrilled to see the new fixtures installed in her bathroom. Through a USDA Rural Development 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation loan and grant, updates were made to the 90 year olds house to make the bathroom handicapped accessible, replace storm doors and fix broken windows.
When Clara was asked, “What was the best thing about her newly updated house?” Clara replied “I can now use my new handicapped accessible bathroom by myself; I have had to rely on my family members for over five years to lift me and take care of me”. One thing that thrilled Clara was that her bathroom mirror was now lowered so that she could fix her hair and see herself after all of these years.
South Dakota USDA Rural Development Area Specialist, Paula Corcoran, stated that this project really worked well because of the relationships that have been developed with the Cheyenne River Housing Authority, Rural Development, and a local contractor. Corcoran states, “Those interested are referred to Rural Development by the Housing Authority and then, in this case, a reliable contractor was found. The Housing Authority acts as a great resource to the varied housing programs available.”
Clara has lived in the house since 1999 and has survived three tornadoes. Family has played a huge role in her life with five daughters and over 36 grandkids, some living close. The handicap accessible improvements have given her and her family a peace of mind when she is home by herself.