Study: Tri-County one of the most expensive places to live in S.C.

Study: Tri-County one of the most expensive places to live in S.C.
A Trident United Way study found the Tri-County area to be one of the most expensive places to live in the Palmetto State, with housing costs putting many people in a bind. (Source: AP)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Trident United Way study found the Tri-County area to be one of the most expensive places to live in the Palmetto State, with housing costs putting many people in a bind.

The 2020 Self Sufficiency Standard Study compared the Tri-County area wit the rest of the the state and documents how a high cost of living adds stress to an already difficult economic time, Trident spokesman Brian DeRoy said.

The study found the income needed to make ends meet for one adult and one preschooler varies from $13.80 per hour in Orangeburg County to $22.94 per hour, or $48,459 per year, in Charleston County, based on federal poverty guidelines for a family of two.

The study also found the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Charleston is $1,450, about 42% of median individual post-tax income. The highest percentage recommended individuals spend on housing is 33% of post-tax income.

Click here to read the full study.

Trident United Way Vice President of Community Impact Amanda Lawrence said the agency and its partners will use this information to educate people about how to navigate a high-cost environment through education, savings and other financial strategies.

“Using the data from the study will allow us to share with them those costs that are part of our Tri-County community and what they need to do to get on a pathway to increase their income and skills and address the needs that they have right now,” Lawrence said.

TUW collaborates with their partner agencies to provide key services in the areas of education, financial stability and health to help people bridge the cost of living gap.

“We also have the opportunity to connect them through the other pieces of the model to skills building, to employment, to resources, to housing, all of the pieces and parts that we know are essential to an individual becoming sustainable or self-sufficient,” Lawrence said.

Over the past 23 years, the study has been calculated for 41 states as well as the District of Columbia and New York City. Its use has transformed the way policies and programs for low-income workers are structured and has contributed to a greater understanding of what is required to have adequate income to meet one’s basic needs in the United States, DeRoy said.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard for South Carolina 2020 is a cooperative effort of the University of Washington Center for Women’s Welfare and the United Way of Association of South Carolina.

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