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"We can always use more funding": Columbia Housing Authority has less state funding in 2023

In a meeting Thursday, the Columbia Housing Authority discussed an alternative bond method to fund their projects.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia Housing Authority is working to figure out how they are going to fund housing projects in 2023. 

Last May, Governor Henry McMaster signed an affordable tax credit bill into law. This new legislation caps available tax credits at $20 million total for all housing authorities in the state.

50% of this funding will go toward rural affordable housing and then the other funding is split amongst the other authorities in the state, which leaves Columbia housing with much less state funding than expected.

Now, the Columbia Housing Authority has to figure out how to close the gap. 

Yvonda Bean, the CEO of Columbia Housing, says the need is great for them and all other housing authorities in the state as well.

“There are currently $70 billion in backlogged maintenance needs across the country right now", Bean explained.

With inflation and high building costs working against them, the Columbia Housing Authority is now working to find other ways to fund their projects. 

“We are currently working on more than $100 million in projects around the City of Columbia and the Richland County area," Bean stated.

In 2021, the housing authority was able to use what’s called conduit bonds to fund 8 housing projects. These conduit bonds allowed the housing authority to partner with private companies and collect property tax. 

Now, this is no longer an option and now they are working with a different kind of bond that cuts any property taxes but will allow Columbia Housing to partner with private companies. 

Bean says although the full amount of state funding would have been nice, the board will work hard to try to come up with the needed funding.

“The reality of that is, that we can never receive enough funding to address those needs so any extra is certainly helpful," the CEO said.

The Columbia Housing Authority will present a 2023 plan for its organization on April 5. 

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