In 2018, the Charleston County Special Housing Committee reached out to the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce for assistance. After consulting with the County Staff, the recommendation was made to appoint a housing affordability task force that would identify and recommend solutions for housing affordability to the Special Housing Committee.
The Special Housing Committee agreed, and a Housing Task Force was formed, which included representatives from the SC Community Loan Fund, for-profit and non-profit housing developers, Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, faith-based organizations and other business and community leaders.
The results of the Task Force analysis were clear. Charleston County needs 78,000 new housing units by 2030 to keep up with the County’s housing demand. On an annual basis, the County will therefore need 5,200 net new housing units per year; 2,600 of which should be affordable based on median income levels.
To increase supply, the Task Force made numerus policy recommendations, including:
- improving density incentives for affordable units, including in the Rural Area,
- increasing residential density in the urban/suburban area,
- allowing duplexes and townhouses in single-family zoning districts,
- removing limiting requirements on accessory dwelling units (ADUs),
- reducing parking requirements,
- allowing alternative development standards for affordable units, and
- streamlining fee/application cost waivers and permit processing.
The Charleston Metro Chamber and its allied organizations have continued to push for these policy changes. On July 19, 2021, the Charleston County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of proposed amendments to the Charleston County Zoning and Land Development Regulations Ordinance that incentivize affordable and workforce housing, streamline processes, and update and clarify zoning and development requirements. This is a huge step forward for housing affordability in the region, and we commend the Planning Commission and County Staff for recognizing its importance. But, the work is not done yet.
The Charleston County Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments on September 14 at 6:30 pm (4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston, SC 29405). The Chamber will be there to voice our support and urge the council to pass these important amendments to our Zoning and Land Development Regulations. Please join us in supporting the amendments by contacting your Charleston County Councilmember:
District 1: Councilman Herbert Sass
District 2: Councilman Dickie Schweers
District 3: Councilman Rob Wehrman
District 4: Councilman Henry Darby
District 5: Councilman Teddie Pryor
District 6: Councilman Kylon Middleton
District 7: Councilman Brantley Moody
District 8: Councilmember Anna Johnson
District 9: Councilmember Jenny Costa Honeycutt
Thank you for joining the increasing chorus of support for housing attainability in our region.
Bailey Vincett, Government Relations Coordinator