Oglala Sioux, feds seek solutions for South Dakota reservation's chronic housing shortage

The housing shortage on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a longstanding problem for thousands of Oglala Sioux members.

But the tribe is pushing the issue into the spotlight again after severe storms and flooding in May spurred a federal disaster declaration.

A task force of officials and housing advocates began work this month on a new plan to address the shortage on the reservation of about 35,000 people.

They're starting with a study of current houses and their condition to better understand the situation.

Tribal officials say the reservation needs 4,000 more units to ease crowding and ensure residences have plumbing and electricity.

Vince Martin of Oglala Sioux Lakota Housing says the tribe builds an average of between 30 and 40 housing units a year.