Tonight, a delegation of city officials, including Mayor pro tempore James Lewis, Jr., Senior Advisor to the Mayor Josh Martin, director of the city of Charleston Housing and Community Development Department Geona Shaw Johnson and President and CEO of the Charleston Housing Authority Don Cameron will be attending the Charleston Area Justice Ministry Nehemiah Action Assembly to discuss the issue of affordable housing in our community.
Attached is the letter that Mayor pro tem Lewis will present to Reverend Charles Heyward and CAJM, which outlines the following city initiatives and partnerships:
- Currently, the city of Charleston has more than 10,000 units of affordable housing for seniors, students, low- and moderate-income families, new and existing homeowners. During the next 5 years, the City anticipates the production of an additional 2,377 housing units using a combination of funding sources, programs, and partners, including the $20 million affordable housing bond referendum approved by the citizens of Charleston last year.
- The city of Charleston formed the Palmetto Community Land Trust in 2017 in partnership with the Historic Charleston Foundation through the Charleston Redevelopment Corporation (CRC) to acquire, develop and manage rental and ownership housing for a period of 99 years, contributing to long-term affordable homes in the community.
- The City of Charleston recently updated its Mixed Use Workforce Housing Ordinance (MU-2 Zoning) to increase the affordability period for workforce housing from 10 years to 20 years and the percentage of workforce housing from 15 percent to 25 percent. A “fee-in-lieu” and a “land-in-lieu” provision was added as an option for developers who would prefer paying for the production of affordable housing on alternate sites. To date, the City of Charleston has received over $1.5m to reinvest into affordable housing in the community.
- And several other initiatives which are outlined in the attached letter, such as partnering with for-profit and non-profit entities to build and restore homes on Johns Island, in the Ashleyville neighborhood and on the former Cooper River Bridge site.
City of Charleston spokesman Jack O’Toole said, “As Mayor Tecklenburg made clear in his State of the City address earlier this year, affordable housing is one of the top issues facing our community, along with flooding and drainage, traffic and transportation and public safety. The city continues to look for and aggressively pursue opportunities to increase affordable housing options for our citizens.”