Charleston committee wants South Carolina lawmakers to double affordable housing tax credits

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – A Charleston city committee has voted to ask the state legislature to double the amount of tax credits earmarked to help build affordable housing in South Carolina.

Housing and Community Development Director Geona Shaw Johnson said the city is backing the effort because the cost and need for affordable housing has increased.

Right now, the state is offering $20 million in these tax credits to build affordable housing in South Carolina. The city is supporting a bill that would double that number.

“Every multi-family development in the city of Charleston has received Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and that’s thousands of units right now,” Shaw Johnson said. “In our most recent report, we had maybe 5,000 units that are currently in existence, and I would say of those 5,000, easily 3,000 to 4,000 of them receive the low-income housing tax credit.”

Shaw Johnson said these tax credits are one of the main ways multi-family and affordable rental housing is built. The city says they expect about 500 affordable units to open this year.

He adds that the loans have produced tens of thousands of units in the state for families of four earning less than $58,000 a year.

If the state legislature decides to go ahead, Shaw Johnson said it could mean hundreds more units in the community.

In recent years, the city said it has spent about $50 million on affordable housing. Even then, officials said that the money is not enough to get these projects off the ground and they need help from the state.

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