Breaking Barriers: Developers weigh in on how to make affordable housing affordable.

Working from home comes with its own challenges, but nothing is quite like having to live at your workplace.

Especially with two grandchildren in tow.

But when Pam Meyers moved to Greenville from North Carolina in pursuit of her job at Motel 6, in light of escalating rent prices and credit barriers, the best living option for her granddaughters, ages 11 and 16, and herself was to take up residence at her workplace.

"Rent was ridiculous," Meyers said. "One bedroom: $1,200. I was like, OK, I'll stay at the hotel."

Then she stumbled onto the Home Again Program, Greenville Housing Fund and United Housing Connection's joint venture to help families with school-aged children living in Upstate hotels bridge the gap to self-sufficiency at a long-term rental home. Meyers sent all necessary documentation as fast as she could to her case manager, Barbara Hunter-Geer, who helped her secure a much more spacious townhome with the aid of Reedy Realty.

Meyers isn't alone in this trajectory. She knows at least four former residents at the same Motel 6 who transitioned to a long-term housing situations through similar programs, which is the kind of impact Greenville Housing Fund CEO Bryan Brown hopes will escalate with a $250,000 grant gifted to the program in March by TD Charitable Foundation's Housing for Everyone program.

"We're ramping up, and the goal is to serve 30 families the first year, and another 30 the second year for a total of 60," he said, adding that they intend to continue the program if possible in step with a strategic plan developed by the 50-member Greenville Affordable Housing Coalition.

Especially since Greenville's housing options aren't getting any cheaper during a pandemic economy for workers earning $15 an hour and an influx of newcomers driving up housing demand.

"What happens is when existing property owners sell those apartments to investors, the new owners tend to drive them up in the market, so what was affordable is no longer," Brown told GSA Business Report. "We don't want to lose that inventory in terms of its attainable price point and so we have a preservation strategy in our plan. Then we have a production strategy, because we just know we have a growing population, and we have a growing need for housing affordability."

The strategy calls for producing 10,000 housing units over 10 years that are affordable for those earning 80% of the average median income or below. In 2018, $42,856.80 marked the maximum income...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT