First low-income housing complex to be built downtown

First low-income housing complex to be built downtown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - With the shake of a hand and the signing of names, a small tract of land is now under the ownership of the Charleston Housing Authority – the first step toward a new housing complex.

The Authority will now develop the plot of land, at the corner of Laurens and Washington Streets, into a two-building, 56-unit apartment complex for low-income seniors.

"Part of the difficulty of a senior homeowner is their income is limited and they really struggle with keeping their house and maintenance up," Charleston Housing Authority Executive Director Donald Cameron said.  "This will give them some alternative that they currently do not have."

Cameron said the complex would be the first and only housing in Charleston specifically set aside for low-income seniors.  Because the units will not be federally subsidized, tenants will pay a rent of about 800 dollars per month.

The land originally housed a 162-unit building for low-income families, but the building was destroyed in Hurricane Hugo in 1989.  At the time, the land was owned by the Charleston Housing Authority, but moved under City of Charleston ownership after the hurricane.  The plot moved back under the ownership of the Authority, in a real estate transfer on Tuesday morning.

Mayor Joe Riley said the future complex will close a chapter in the city's history following the devastating storm.

"This is really one of the final pieces of the puzzle and it's a very happy event to put this piece in place," he said.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in October and last 13 months.  A park, hotel and private housing are also planned for the area.

The complex will be named "Williams Terrace Senior Housing" in honor of the current Charleston Housing Authority Board Chair Henry Williams.

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