Charleston, like many cities in the U.S., is experiencing a great deal of growth. This increased demand for housing has put the idea of homeownership out of the reach of many; when it comes to affordable housing there is a massive gap in the city.
"The lack of affordable housing in our area has increased over the last several years dramatically," Corwyn Melette, a Charleston-based Realtor, told Palmetto Business Daily.
The Homeownership Initiative, kicked off by former Mayor Joe Riley, was responsible for making 110 homes and condos available for below-market value. Now, Mayor John Tecklenburg is carrying on that mission by working to build seven affordable homes in the Maryville-Ashleyville neighborhood.
"Other markets that have already been through this have had investors or other large entities doing tax credit deals where they create affordable housing in exchange for tax credit, which is very common in a lot of larger cities," Melette said.
While Charleston has a number of needs in terms of affordability, in Melette's opinion housing is the biggest. He also says it is one that these new affordable units will quickly solve.
"In my opinion, I don't think it will create any new gaps, but what I believe we will see is a number of people with interest," Melette said. "There will be people waiting for these particular properties."
Since these new properties are being built with lower-income families in mind, Melette explained that there will be measures taken to ensure that those families will be ready to handle all of the responsibilities that come with ownership so they can stay in their new homes.
"There will be a process to qualify people for the project and making sure that that they are prepared or otherwise ready for home ownership, but my expectation is that it will be a natural transition as properties become available," Melette said.