Charleston county seeking community input for use of Urban Entitlement Funding

VIDEO: Charleston county seeking community input for use of Urban Entitlement Funding

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Community Development Department of Charleston County wants to know what improvements you want to see in our community. They're asking people to take a survey on what's most important including things like affordable housing, community assistance programs, and infrastructure improvements.

The money comes from the County's Urban Entitlement Program.

"There's no question that without the Urban Entitlement Funding we would be severely restricted in the amount of work that we're able to do now," says CEO of non-profit Metanoia Rev. Bill Stanfield.

Metanoia is a community corporation that receives funds from the county. Grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Director of Charleston County Community Development, Johnna Murray says the county receives between $2 and $3 million a year. The funding supports things like preventing homelessness, housing rehabilitation, and improving infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.

"Just as our community needs are increasing this funding is decreasing," says Murray. "It's specifically to benefit the low to moderate income population.  It is about community development and community planning."

Rev. Stanfield says his organization has used it for summer literacy programming and to assist with opening a local cafe.

"We use it most often in our housing development work to either provide home ownership opportunities for low income buyers or affordable rental to people who otherwise could not afford the the kind of quality we're able to build," says Rev.Stanfield.

The community development department wants to "get as much community feedback so we ensure that we're spending this money for what the citizens believe that they need," says Murray.

Non-profit organizations or developers can apply for funds to use in the community.

"We've used it for a wide variety of things to kind of build the capacity of the neighborhood," says Rev. Stanfield.

Grant applications are available once a year usually around December or January.

Charleston County Community Development Survey: