CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The City of Charleston is looking for a real estate broker to help provide more affordable housing options in town.
According to city officials, in order to build more affordable housing, the city must first purchase the property.
The city recently announced a Request for Proposals, or RFP, which states that it is seeking to enter into a contract with a real estate broker or company to help find land, lots or existing structures that the city can use. for affordable housing and affordable housing. programs, both for rentals and for properties for sale.
According to the tender, sites around the Lowline are given priority. It is the peninsula area that extends from Marion Square to Mount Pleasant Street, which includes the area below I-26.
According to Geona Shaw Johnson, director of housing and community development for the City of Charleston, the plan for the Lowline and surrounding area includes parks and other benefits, which should attract retail businesses, restaurants and more. Shaw Johnson said the city wants people with diverse incomes to be able to live nearby and enjoy all of these amenities.
“We want to expand those opportunities across our community for this region,” she said. “So we’ve asked whoever the real estate agent is to focus on that area so that we can put more sales opportunities, as well as rental opportunities, for low-income people. and average in this area.”
The RFP states that other sites will be considered and should be close to public transport and amenities, should not disturb wetlands or should do so minimally, and should be located where utilities and infrastructure is available, among other criteria.
The RFP calls affordable housing “one of Charleston’s most pressing issues.” Shaw Johnson said data shows Charleston will need more than 16,000 more affordable housing units by 2030.
Real estate broker Matt O’Neill said Charleston has seen significant growth over the past 15 years, with prices following suit. He told Live 5 he was glad there was more emphasis on affordable housing projects.
“The City of Charleston is taking action, and I think that’s so awesome,” he said. “I think [affordable housing] is one of the biggest challenges facing our region today, and I think it will continue to be a bigger and bigger challenge in the future. I love that the city is taking over affordable housing and making it actually available.
According to Shaw Johnson, they expect a realtor’s contract to be submitted to city council for approval by November.
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