CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Making housing more affordable in the Lowcountry, that’s the goal of the Charleston County Affordable Housing Taskforce. Tuesday night, the Charleston County Council will learn for the first time about an interim report during a special finance committee meeting.
The Affordable Housing Task Force argues the cost of housing in the Charleston region is out-growing the pace of wage growth. They’re trying to figure out a way to make housing more affordable so that people aren’t putting more than 30-percent of their income toward rent or their mortgage.
“We’re really concerned that 50-thousand families in Charleston County alone are currently than 30-percent of their incomes on housing,” Ian Scott, Vice President of Government Relations said. “That means housing costs are crowding out their ability to save for their futures, put their kids in college, and do all the other important things they want to do in life.”
According to the interim report that will be presented during Tuesday’s finance committee meeting, a firefighter that makes 35 to 50-thousand dollars can afford rent up to $1250/month.
That means they’re using 60-percent of their income just to pay their rent. If they wanted to buy a home, they can only afford one that’s in the 200-thousand market. Right now, there are only 224 homes available in the price range in Charleston County.
“It’s a real problem that housing cost is out-growing the pace of wage growth. We’re seeing wages rise, but not nearly as fast the cost of housing has increased,” Scott said. “We’ve got to find some more stability in the market, and the work that Charleston County is doing can really be a helpful asset in getting us to a better spot and a more balanced housing market.”
Tuesday’s meeting gets underway at 6:00 p.m. at the Charleston County Council Chambers in North Charleston.