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Process to bring more affordable housing to Columbia moves forward

A subcommittee of the Columbia Housing Board met with developers to discuss their plans to bring new affordable housing units to the city.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The process to bring more affordable housing to the City of Columbia moved a step forward Thursday night.

A subcomittee of the Columbia Housing Board discussed five possible housing developments, two of which could break ground in the coming months bringing hundreds of new apartment homes.

The two developments, known as Garden Lakes and Haven at Congaree will each be multifamily housing units on Atlas Road and Mason Road off North Main Street.

Gary Long is with the development firm for Garden Lakes.

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"We're looking forward to getting it started," Long said. "It is 288 units and we have approval from the City of Columbia to start as soon as we pay for our permit."

The other three developments are in earlier phases, but, if approved, could bring more than 600 units to Percival Road and Trenholm Road.

The Trenholm Road project would be split into a senior and family housing development.

Credit: WLTX, Zoom, Dominum
Trenholm Road Site Plan

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Katessa Archer, one of the developers, said the estimated benefit goes beyond a new home.

"Over first year, first two years of construction on Percival Place and what you'll see on Trenholm Road as well, we're expecting 144 jobs which will create just over $14.1 million in income and taxes for the local community," Archer said.

The new developments are a much needed addition for the city, as affordable housing remains in short supply.

The issue is something Housing Authority Interim Director Yvonda Bean knows firsthand.

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"There is a tremendous need," Bean said. "We currently have over 6,500 families that are on our waiting list. So, the opportunity to do something a little bit different, be creative and think outside the box by partnering with these different private developers and acting as a conduit for these multifamily tax-exempt funds, certainly affords us the opportunity to create more affordable housing and really work toward filling that gap that exists."

Director Bean added that the private developers will be responsible for financing. 

The full Columbia Housing Board will meet next Thursday, February 17 to continue discussions.

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