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SDHDA Announces 2019 Elmer D. Whitepipe Award of Excellence Recipient

For Immediate Release


October 30, 2019

SDHDA Contact: Tasha Jones

SDHDA Announces Elmer D. Whitepipe Award of Excellence Recipient

PIERRE, S.D. (10/30/19) – South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s (SDHDA) annual housing conference included the recognition of an individual for their commitmentto affordable rental housing in South Dakota. Debra Smith, property manager with Norby Rentals in Huron, received the award at SDHDA’s award luncheon.

Tasha Jones and Debra SmithSmith was honored for her outstanding dedication and commitment to affordable rental housing in South Dakota.  She has been in the housing industry for more than 20 years, working with both fair market and Rural Development assisted units, with a great majority of her units being designated for elderly and disabled individuals. 

“Debra’s passion and commitment for helping those in need for housing is exactly the type of individual we strive to recognize for the Elmer D. Whitepipe Award of Excellence,” said Executive Director Mark Lauseng. “She goes above and beyond to make sure everyone receives safe, well-maintained units and we are proud to honor Debra for her consistent efforts to help others access affordable housing.” 

Each year, SDHDA recognizes individuals and/or companies who are instrumental in providing affordable rental housing in the asset management or compliance industry in South Dakota and who exemplify the thoughtful, caring and friendly character of the award’s namesake. Annually, SDHDA accepts nominations for the award and announces the recipient at the annual housing conference.

About the Elmer D. Whitepipe Award of Excellence

Elmer D. Whitepipe (Buzz, as he was commonly known) helped formulate the South Dakota Housing Development Authority in 1973 and served on its initial Board of Commissioners from 1974 through 1976.  He became a Housing Management Specialist on the SDHDA staff in December of 1976 and was instrumental in the creation of the rental housing division at SDHDA where he worked for 29 years.  Throughout those years, Elmer had a remarkable impact on the housing industry in South Dakota. SDHDA feels it is important to recognize those who go above and beyond the call of duty, who exemplify an extraordinary work ethic, care deeply about the people served, or who live day in and day out as everyday heroes so that SDHDA can carry on with the legacy that Elmer left behind.


About South Dakota Housing Development Authority

South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA) was created by the South Dakota legislature in 1973 with a stated mission to provide decent, safe and affordable housing to low- and moderate-income South Dakotans.  SDHDA is a self-supporting, nonprofit entity that uses no State tax dollars to fund its operating budget.  SDHDA utilizes housing bonds, tax credits and other federal and state resources to fund housing programs that provide mortgage and downpayment assistance, housing construction and rehabilitation, homelessness prevention and rental assistance.

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