COLUMBIA, S.C. — In less than 10 years, public housing is expected to look very different in Columbia and Richland County.
In a virtual meeting Wednesday, Columbia Housing announced a new plan to demolish, renovate and add new affordable housing by 2030.
From July 2019 until now, architects, engineers, appraisers and environmental consultants have assessed all properties of the Columbia Housing Authority.
That's 1,684 units in 28 complexes.
In order to fund the demolition, rebuilding and renovation of these properties, Columbia Housing will adopt a new public housing platform.
"We will transition our entire public housing portfolio to HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and others that will enable access to market debt and equity for the preservation, redevelopment and new construction of affordable housing," said Columbia Housing CEO, Ivory Mathews.
Housing officials say current federal laws won't allow outside funding for public housing and the dollars we're getting now won't cover the repair bill.
"Since the 1990s, the federal commitment to the public housing program has generally diminished and funding has been significantly reduced resulting in a capital backlog of over $60 billion nationwide," said Mathews. "Columbia housing, as many housing authorities across the country, has been strongly encouraged by HUD to turn to the private market to address our backlog of capital needs."
The RAD program will allow Columbia Housing to turn to the private market and outside investors to get money. Mathews says rent for tenants will not be changed.
"Tenant rent will remain the same which is based on 30% of the monthly adjusted income," Mathews explained. "Tenants will continue to receive rental assistance from HUD that will pay the difference between the tenant rent and the market rent. There is no negative impact to the family."
According to Columbia Housing, 200,000 affordable housing units nationwide have converted to the RAD program, raising $11.6 billion.
South Carolina is included.
"In South Carolina, there's been over 1,800 units to date that have converted under RAD that raised $53.3 million throughout our state to improve the quality of public housing," said Cindi Herrera, Senior VP of Development for Columbia Housing.
The goal of Columbia Housings Vision 2030 plan is to ensure public housing is not lost.
Over the next five years, agency officials say they will make a $500 million investment through public and private partnerships to do the following:
- Oak at St. Anna's Park will replace former Gonzales Gardens. This will include 95 senior units and 190 family townhomes using $58.1M of private capital. Closing date is estimated for Nov 2021, construction will start immediately after. Estimated move-in is set for April 2023.
- Haven at Palmer Pointe will replace the Marion Street High Rise. The property will be located at the Corner of Carter Street and Two Notch Road. It will be a 3-story elevator building with 250 units for seniors 62 and older with a $31M development cost. Estimated close date is set for November 2021. Estimated move-in is set for April 2023.
- Allen Benedict Court/Oak Read High Rise (Harden St. and Read St.) - Allen Benedict Court will be demolished. The new build will feature 168 senior housing units for residents 62 and older and 195 family units. It's set to close in 2022, with move-in set for early 2024. Once senior units are built at Allen Benedict Court, CHA can move residents from Oak Read to the new ABC units in order to redevelop Oak Read High rise. Project launch is set for 2023.
- Latimer Manor (Lorick Ave. and West Ave.) is set for demolition and new construction on the same site. It will offer 220 rental units and 50 home ownership units. The project will launch in 2022.
- Arrington Manor (College St. and Oak St.) is set for demolition and new construction on the same site. It will feature 80 units for seniors. The project will launch in 2022.
- Reserves at Faraway (2000 Faraway Dr.) is set for demolition and new construction on same site. Project launch dates are TBD.
- Dorrah Randall (Dorrah St. and Randall Ave.) is set for demolition and new construction on the same site. Project launch dates are TBD.
- Hammond Village (Marlboro St and River Dr.) will undergo substantial rehab. Project dates are TBD.
- Lewis Scott Court (Eastover) will undergo substantial rehab. Project dates are TBD.
- Small properties (each site ranging from 10 units to 30 units) vary in repair needs. Inspectors identified 70 units that need to be demolished and said remaining units will need substantial rehab.
- Single family homes - Inspectors identified 155 that need to be rehabbed. 140 homes will need to be demolished or sold in their current condition.
- Village at Nazareth is a new development on Gervais St. and Millwood Ave. It will feature 90 senior units, 160 family units and a retail component. Timeline for this project is TBD.
- Willows at Wateree is a new development on Shakespeare Rd. and Roof St. The site will feature 104 senior units (Willow Creek) and 160 family units (Willow Brook). The move-in date is set for July 2023.
- Oak Grove at Hunt Club is a new development on Hunt Club Rd. featuring 160 units of family housing. The estimated move-in date is July 2023.
- Huntington Court is a new development that will be built off Trenholm Rd. and O'Neil Ct. The property will have 228 family units. Move-in is estimated for December 2023.
All residents who will be affected by this plan will be contacted by Columbia Housing to eventually start plans to relocate, if needed.
By 2030, Columbia Housing says they hope to have nearly 3,000 affordable housing units in the area, matching larger numbers from the late 90's.
To view the virtual meeting in its entirety, Columbia Housing plans to publish the video on their YouTube page.