Charleston committee wants SC lawmakers to double affordable housing tax credits

A Charleston committee wants South Carolina to double the amount of tax credits to build more affordable housing.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:09 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 11:42 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A City of Charleston committee has voted to call on the state legislature to double the amount of tax credits meant to help build affordable housing in South Carolina.

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

Right now, the state offers $20 million dollars in these tax credits to build affordable housing across South Carolina. The city is throwing its support behind a bill that would double that figure.

“Every multifamily development in the City of Charleston has received low-income housing tax credits, and that’s thousands of units at this point,” Shaw Johnson said. “In our most recent report, we had maybe five thousand units that exist currently, and I would say of those 5,000, easily 3,000 to 4,000 of those receive the low-income housing tax credit.”

Shaw Johnson said these tax credits are one of the main ways affordable rental and multifamily housing is built. The city says this year, they’re expecting about 500 affordable units to open.

She adds the credits have produced tens of thousands of units in the state for families of four making less than around $58,000 a year.

If the state legislature decides to move forward, Shaw Johnson said it could mean hundreds of more units in the community.

Over the past several years, the city said have spent around $50 million on affordable housing. Even then, officials said that money isn’t enough to get these projects going and need help from the state.