February 19, 2021
The Charleston region is growing. The data shows job growth, wage growth and population growth – what it does not show is sufficient growth in attainable housing. Conservative estimates predict 26,000 new jobs in the Charleston region over the next five years. Wage growth increased by an average of 12% from 2010-2016. The region is experiencing a tremendous increase in demand and a supply that is unable to keep up.
The natural result is an increase in housing prices that is outpacing income growth. Typical residents now spend 57% of their income on housing and transportation, while low-income residents spend 71% of their income on the same.
The members of the Charleston Metro Chamber believe that to accommodate projected growth, allow businesses to thrive and create opportunities for all our fellow citizens, our region needs to focus on solutions that provide more attainable housing options at every income level.
But in a complex policy environment with multiple jurisdictions all striving for the right answers, how should the Chamber respond? That question was answered by Chamber members in an Attainable Housing Workshop held on February 12. Various policy options were reviewed, and after deliberation, the members at the Workshop recommended that the Chamber be guided by certain principles. The following Guiding Principles were reviewed by the Chamber’s Regional Policy Committee on February 17 and unanimously adopted.
Attainable Housing Guiding Principles
- Support policies that increase housing supply
- Support policies that decrease the cost of housing
- Support policies that encourage free market solutions
- Support policies that support unique limited government solutions where the free market is unable to perform
The Regional Policy Committee also directed the Government Relations team to continue to support the Charleston County Housing Trust Fund and to explore additional partnerships with the City of Charleston on housing policies and initiatives.
We are eager to move forward advocating for attainable housing policy. If you would like to learn more about the housing issues facing our region, please check the Attainable Housing Resource Guide created by the Regional Policy Committee.
We thank the business community for continuing to be an influential voice working to bring more attainable housing to the Charleston Region.
Government Relations Coordinator