GREENVILLE, S.C. – Greenville Housing Fund leaders reported a successful year in 2022 and laid out their 2023 goals and aspirations during a celebratory Annual Meeting Thursday morning.
Chief accomplishments from the past year include the production of 246 affordable new apartments and homes in Greenville County and the preservation of the affordability of another 240 homes, often bundled with substantial renovations and improvements to those properties. The organization also launched a thriving real-estate impact fund in 2022, giving local private investors a means to participate in the production and preservation of affordable and workforce housing across Greenville.
Bryan Brown, the organization’s President and CEO, described over $6.6 million in total investment made or leveraged during 2022.
“We accomplished a lot this year, but we didn’t do it alone,” said Brown. “This was an amazing effort to create a combined impact that will help positively change thousands of lives in Greenville.”
Greenville Housing Fund works closely with Greenville County’s municipalities to confront the extreme shortage of affordable and workforce housing across the county through lending, investment, and direct development, as well as through partnerships and advocacy.
The City of Greenville authorized $4 million for affordable housing during 2022, providing critical support for the organization’s work. The Greenville Housing Fund also deployed $1 million from Greenville County and the City of Travelers Rest to preserve the Harmony Ridge senior housing community.
Greenville County endorsed $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for affordable housing over the current two-year budget cycle, and notably approved a first-ever countywide Affordable Housing Incentive Policy using tax abatements to encourage the development of housing that serves households earning below 80% of the area median income.
Greenville Housing Fund plans to work with its public, private-sector, and nonprofit partners to increase attention on “special emphasis” neighborhoods in 2023 by boosting investment and financing, especially for in-fill housing and homeownership opportunities, and by “land banking” property for future development to preserve affordability. Special emphasis neighborhoods have been identified as those that struggle with economic disinvestment, or with gentrification pressures, or with encroaching commercial development. Another 2023 priority is to secure new sources of private, state, and federal funding for affordable development across Greenville.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Christie Cade, Regional Vice President of the Southern Region at NeighborWorks America, detailing approaches that locally-based nonprofits can take to achieve their missions during challenging times. Dr. Cade went on to describe NeighborWorks America’s role in supporting affordable housing, building assets, and making strategic investments in underserved communities, tying into the work of the Greenville Housing Foundation and its many partners.
Greenville Housing Fund also recognized several of its board members and local organizations for their outstanding work and efforts:
• The City of Greenville was honored as the 2022 Champion of Affordable Housing in recognition of exceptional leadership, dedication and support for affordable housing development and preservation in Greenville.
• Affordable Upstate was the 2022 Excellence in Affordable Housing Preservation honoree, recognizing its commitment and dedication to preserving affordable housing in Greenville.
• Outgoing board members Maurie Lawrence, Dan Weidenbenner, and Bogue Wallin were honored for their dedicated service, especially during the organization’s founding years.
Incoming Board Chair Matt Good praised outgoing Chair Deborah Long’s deep commitment and thoughtful leadership during her term, and welcomed new appointees James Jordon (Jordon Construction Company), Jimmy Kimbell (Southern First Bank), and Travis Wharton (United Way of Greenville County), who will be joining the Greenville Housing Fund Board in early 2023.
About Greenville Housing Fund:
As a convener, advocate, investor, and funder, the purpose of Greenville Housing Fund is to work with key partners, developers, elected officials, community stakeholders, and residents to increase and preserve the supply of a variety of safe, accessible, high-quality, affordable housing choices to support economic growth and promote prosperity for all citizens throughout Greenville County. In the past five years, they have directly invested more than $13.5 million to finance, produce, or preserve over 1,140 homes, and to secure land for future affordable housing development. To learn more about the Greenville Housing Fund’s work and about how to become a supporter, please visit https://greenvillehousingfund.com.