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WHERE IS GREENVILLE'S AFFORDABLE HOUSING?



Members of the Greenville Affordable Housing Coalition have been busy over the past month!  In collaboration with Furman University, GAHC recently published the Affordable Housing Digital Map, which will allow the coalition to understand the spatial distribution of affordable housing throughout Greenville County.  The map will continue to be expanded over the coming months, making it a vital resource for diagnosing areas of particular need and assessing whether development is occurring in congruence with the target areas identified in the Affordable Housing Strategic Plan.  Additionally, recent surveys of coalition members have helped working groups better understand what projects are currently in the works.  This data has shown that the coalition is already hitting annual goals, but has highlighted that more work is needed to ensure that new construction and preservation reaches all income brackets, especially those in the 30% AMI and below range.  Read more about what GAHC has been up to in this article from the Greenville Journal. 

HIGH MATERIALS COSTS THREATEN AFFORDABILITY


 

Over the past year, the price of building materials has skyrocketed, affecting the overall cost of homes and apartments.  The price of lumber has escalated by over 300% since April 2020, and the cost of steel mill products, gypsum products, and concrete have all seen record increases since the beginning of 2020.  The increase in the cost of lumber alone has led to a $36,000 increase in the price of an average single-family home.  These rising costs disproportionately affect middle- and low-income households as they are priced out of the market.  Additionally, the high prices of inputs increase the cost of affordable housing development, stunting new construction and stymying preservation efforts.  The rising costs have directly affected GHF and our partners, leading to cuts in the number of units produced and preserved.  Read more about rising prices in NAHB, and learn more about how the situation is affecting South Carolinians from WLTX.

GHF'S NEW LOOK



GHF’s website got a makeover!  You can explore our funding programs, learn more about our development projects, and dive deeper into the coalition’s work using the new affordable housing map and dashboard.  While you’re there, be sure to check out GHF’s news appearances and read about the people who make up the GHF team! 

COALITION MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Affordable Upstate is a regional investment firm specializing in the acquisition and management of multifamily properties.  Founded in 2017 by partners Brian Albers and Mario Brown, the pair seeks to prevent the Upstate’s naturally occurring affordable housing stock from being lost to the market.  Since then, they have purchased and repositioned more than 425 multifamily units across the fourteen properties that they now manage.  Affordable Upstate also ensures that each property they reposition is updated and renovated so that it is more efficient operationally and so that the units meet the needs of future residents.  To date, they manage over $26,000,000 in assets.

Rather than engaging in the production of new affordable housing, Affordable Upstate focuses on the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH).  Brian and Mario explain the importance of their approach, saying that "unsubsidized affordable housing, or naturally occurring affordable housing, provides housing at affordable rates to low- and moderate-income renters in close proximity to schools, employment, and amenities.  As development surges in the Upstate, NOAH properties are at high risk for market-conversion, forcing many residents out of the communities they call home.  At Affordable Upstate, we believe that the redevelopment and preservation of the existing stock of affordable housing are integral to the prevention of community displacement.  By focusing on the preservation of existing NOAH, Affordable Upstate ensures that low- and moderate-income renters have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing options within their own community."  GHF is honored to partner with Affordable Upstate on two NOAH developments with a third on the horizon.

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