City Council approves Housing Trust Fund to target affordable housing shortage

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Greenville’s new Housing Trust Fund will focus on projects serving households with incomes between $15,000 and $55,000.

The Greenville City Council on Nov. 13 unanimously adopted a resolution to establish the independent nonprofit fund to help address an affordable housing shortage in the city.

CZB, an Alexandria, Va.-based urban planning and neighborhood development consulting firm, recommended that money be combined with $1 million from philanthropic, corporate, and charitable sources to create a housing trust fund that would help address the city’s shortage of more than 2,500 affordable housing units.

Earlier this year, the City Council approved using $2 million of the city’s fund balance to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city. That money will be combined with $1 million from philanthropic, corporate, and charitable sources.

The Housing Fund, which will be launched under the existing nonprofit CommuityWorks, is expected to be operational in early 2018.

CZB Founding President Charles Buki had told City Council that households that make $55,000 a year can readily participate in Greenville’s housing market. But teachers and first responders, especially those who are young, will struggle in the market. So would the city’s service-oriented workforce such as hotel and restaurant workers.

“Once you get to $55,000 a year, you can pretty readily participate in the housing market. Once you’re at 55, you’re in,” said Charles Buki, CZB principal.

In addition to new affordable housing, preservation of affordable units should be a priority, Buki said


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