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Chamber Backs Charleston Housing Bond

WRITTEN BY lclark 11 months ago

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The Board of Directors of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has voted to support the City of Charleston’s 2017 Bond Referendum to fund affordable housing.

“Housing attainability is a top priority for the region’s employers,” said Charleston Metro Chamber Board Chair, Patrick Bryant, partner at tech firm Bidr. “We applaud Mayor Tecklenburg and the City of Charleston for their focus on bringing more homes on to the market at price points attainable for residents at all income levels and urge residents to go to the polls on November 7 and vote yes for housing.”

This November, City of Charleston voters will decide on a $20 million bond to fund workforce affordable housing. An estimated 800 housing units of all types will be created by funding from this bond. Funds will allow acquisition of land, construction of new housing, renovation of existing structures, and gap financing for affordable housing projects in partnership with for-profit and non-profit developers. Repayment on the 20 year bond is expected to come from revenues generated from rental housing.

“In vetting this bond referendum, more than 100 business leaders had the opportunity to learn more about our housing challenge,” said Bryant. “Support was overwhelming because housing attainability impacts every business.” He added, “The people strained by housing costs are our colleagues, our neighbors and our families.”

“The region has a critical need for workforce attainable housing and this bond will help address that need,” said Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber. The median home sales price increased twice as fast as wages from 2010-15. Average apartment rents are up nearly 50% region-wide since 2006, with many neighborhoods seeing even greater increases.

“Housing also has a huge impact on our traffic challenge,” added Derreberry. “Every person who can afford to live nearer to where they work means one fewer person driving on our already crowded roads.” On average, Charlestonians spend a greater share of their income on housing and transportation costs than our counterparts in Raleigh and even Seattle.

The bond referendum is on the ballot on November 7, 2017 for City of Charleston residents.

This is what you are likely to see on your ballot if you are a Charleston County voter:

“In order to assist with the acquisition, construction and equipping of safe and affordable housing for persons and families of low to moderate income, shall the City of Charleston be empowered to issue not exceeding $20,000,000 of General Obligation Bonds?”

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