Progress Spotlighted at Greenville Housing Fund’s Annual Meeting

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Even in a year plagued by record high interest rates, Greenville Housing Fund celebrated significant achievements in tackling Greenville’s affordable housing challenges at its 2023 Annual Meeting Tuesday.

With several new multi-family developments breaking ground this year and in 2024, and new incentives and policies in place to drive the community-wide effort to ensure that all Greenville County residents can find safe, high-quality, affordable housing options to meet their individual needs, 2023 has been a year of steady forward progress, according to speakers at the event held at Southern First Bank’s Verdae headquarters building.

Bryan Brown, President and CEO of the Greenville Housing Fund, highlighted a new accelerated funding partnership between organization, the City of Greenville, and Truist Bank that will yield $13.4 million to be invested directly in new affordable housing development over the next several years.

“With commercial development slowed due to the interest rate environment and materials cost increases, this investment is critical to getting shovels in the ground for the over 765 homes we have currently in the pipeline,” said Brown.

In its five-year history, the agency has already produced, preserved, or financed over 1,558 homes in Greenville County, with investment in affordable and workforce housing totaling almost $20 million.

City of Greenville Mayor Knox White welcomed attendees, and Greenville County Council Chairman Dan Tripp provided an overview of expected affordable housing activity in 2024. In 2023, Greenville County Council created its first-ever affordable housing incentive policy in response to the increasing need for affordable housing options across the county.

Brian Albers, of Affordable Upstate and co-chair of the 50 plus member Greenville Affordable Housing Coalition, emphasized the power of the Coalition’s collective impact, as Greenville’s affordable housing advocates consider top 2024 priorities. Those include implementation of Greenville County’s new incentive policy, increasing public resources for affordable housing, and encouraging strong affordable housing policies, both locally and at the state level. Another 2024 priority, GHF’s Neighborhood Strategy to create and preserve affordable housing in the City of Greenville’s Special Emphasis Neighborhoods, will include new homeownership options through an innovative community land-trust, as well as infill development.

Daryl Jones, Chief Operating Officer of the Atlanta-based Integral Group, delivered the keynote address. He described several of the strategies that have been successful in the Integral Group’s developments and investments in over 60 diverse urban markets across the U.S., highlighting efforts to identify and support emerging Black developers and to address the wealth-equity gap separating mainstream and minority communities.

“The premier communities in the United States -- with the best housing, the most attractive amenities, the best access to jobs and transportation, the safest, the best schools -- are not available to low- or even moderate-income households,” Jones told the audience. “So how do we create such a community that is affordable to households of all incomes, such that it is positioned for long term success, and is transformative, economically feasible, and scalable?”

Board Member Deborah McKetty, President of the SC Community Loan Fund, closed the annual meeting with a galvanizing call to action for public and private sectors to join together in the campaign to produce and protect affordable housing. She stressed how fundamental the availability affordable housing is as a foundation to creating financial security and economic mobility opportunities for all Greenville County citizens, and expressed confidence that GHF and its partners are well-positioned for a strong and productive 2024.

Greenville Housing Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing a future of thriving and affordable neighborhoods across Greenville’s diverse communities. Through lending, investing, advocacy, and land-banking, GHF works with community stakeholders, developers, municipalities, and many other partners to preserve and increase the supply of safe, accessible, high-quality, affordable housing for all citizens of Greenville County.

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