Affordable housing initiative aims to create jobs

Affordable housing initiative aims to create jobs
The Charleston City Council is expected to approve stricter rules regarding short-term rentals. (Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A new plan aiming to create thousands of jobs and more affordable housing came one step closer to reality Thursday.

The plan aims to train thousands of workers and create more jobs to underserving areas of Charleston County.

Kwadjo Campbell, one of the plan's developers, said, "it's an economic development issue."

Charleston County is booming, which makes it hard for people working in the area to afford to live there.

Campbell said, "People need to live close to where they work. Companies coming to the area need to know people can afford to live here and not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. So when you talk about bringing more companies in like Volvo and Boeing, their workers need to know they can afford to live here."

Demond McElveen, a supporter of the plan, said, "instead of importing people in for these jobs, we can have home grown people getting trades and working on these things that can help with infrastructure, traffic."

That is only one of several issues the economic stimulus plan hopes to overcome.

Campbell said, "it's just a comprehensive plan that looks at job development, investing in areas like African American tourism, infrastructure and ways we can spur growth and development in underserved communities in the area."

The plan also hopes to reduce crimes. It aims to benefit areas of James Island, John's Island, Snowden and other North Charleston communities.

McElveen said, "The problem's dealing with crime, it deals with poverty. If we can, if a lot of these things we're pushing for can be accomplished, a lot of those problems in our community can be solved."

Jobs would be created. The best case scenario would be an even more booming economy for the area.

"Our best outcome is we're going to create thousands of jobs, thousands of affordable workplace housing, create thousands of new skilled workers to put into this booming economy in Charleston," Campbell said.

The potential plan still has a long way to go and is moving to Charleston County Finance Committee. It will ultimately end up at Charleston County Council.

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