The city of Spartanburg hopes to encourage more affordable housing developments with a new fund. Spartanburg officials say the city is short hundreds of affordable housing units.
“The lower end of the income spectrum is where we have difficulty providing adequate, safe, stable housing units,” said Chris Story, city manager of Spartanburg.
Story says that’s in part because affordable housing presents an economic challenge to build.
“Because the cost of developing affordable housing is not significantly less than the cost of developing market rate housing units,” Story said. “But of course the income generating potential is less when you’re targeting lower rent levels.”
Story says that’s where the new Spartanburg Housing Fund could step in to help by loaning or granting money into affordable housing projects. The city is partnering with financial nonprofit CommunityWorks to administer the fund.
“I always say jobs go home somewhere to spend the night,” Tammie Hoy Hawkins, CEO of CommunityWorks, said. “So when you’re looking at creating economic development opportunities in the community and creating a diverse community you’re really looking at housing at all income.”
The Northside of Spartanburg has seen affordable housing units developed recently. The Northside Development Group says the new fund gives hope for more.
“I think that the city has looked at what we’re doing here on the Northside and said that we can replicate this elsewhere in the city in areas where we have the room,” said Tony Thomas, Community Engagement Coordinator with Northside Development Group.
Story says the fund will start with $750,000 with the hope that it continues to grow over time with community support.