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A Message From Chief Executive Officer

Ivory Mathews - CEO

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and business portal. Our website is a vital component in communicating with our residents, Board of Commissioners, business partners, and the public at large. In May of 2021, we publically launched Vision 2030 to begin charting the path for a new Columbia Housing, as an affordable housing provider that fulfills its mission of leveraging the power of housing to build a foundation for individuals and families to thrive.

Vision 2030 is the strategic framework by which, Columbia Housing will use as its guiding principles for the next 9 years to reposition our entire Public Housing portfolio and create new quality affordable housing in the City of Columbia and Richland County through public/private partnerships utilizing private capital.

Our plan includes the investment of over $500 Million dollars for preservation, redevelopment, and new construction of affordable housing. So, in other words, this investment will not only improve the quality of our existing portfolio but will also increase the supply of affordable housing in the City of Columbia and throughout Richland County.

Through Vision 2030 we've engaged partnerships with nationally recognized and experienced affordable housing developers to help us accomplish this aggressive plan. I would be remiss if I didn't say this, but it is also important to note that this $500 million economic investment will not only provide quality affordable housing but it will also result in a significant contribution to the local economy expanding opportunities for minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and small business enterprises, all of which will satisfy Columbia Housing's MWSBE 30% participation goal.

A little history about Columbia Housing for those who may not know. In 1934, Columbia Housing was created under the state of South Carolina's Public Housing Enabling Legislation to provide affordable housing for citizens with low and moderate incomes.

Our Mission is to leverage the power of housing to build a foundation for individuals and families to thrive. We provide affordable housing to 6,500 families throughout the City of Columbia and Richland County through our Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, and non-subsidized affordable housing programs. 

 

A little history about Public Housing. The term Public Housing is often used generally to represent all affordable housing, Public Housing is actually a specific federal program and was the first federal program to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families.

 

Since the 1990s, the federal commitment to the Public Housing Program has greatly diminished and funding has been significantly reduced resulting in a capital backlog of over $60 BILLION dollars nationwide.

 

Columbia Housing as many housing authorities across the country has been strongly encouraged by HUD to turn to the private market to address our backlog of capital needs.

 

As noted earlier, Vision 2030 will reposition our entire Public Housing portfolio and create new affordable housing in the City of Columbia and throughout Richland County with public/private partnerships using private capital.

 

This private capital will be leveraged with conversion tools provided by HUD that will result in the gradual elimination of all Public Housing and the transition to another affordable housing platform.

 

The HUD conversion tools provide protections for residents. For example, tenant rent will remain the same, which is based on 30% of monthly adjusted income. Tenants will continue to receive rental assistance from HUD that will pay the difference between tenant rent and the market rent. There is no negative impact on the family.

 

In addition, Vision 2030 is the culmination of Columbia Housing's nearly two years of planning in which every Public Housing property (1,684 units in 28 communities located in the city of Columbia and throughout Richland County) has been thoroughly assessed by third party professionals including architects, engineers, appraisers, and environmental consultants.

 

Columbia Housing's Public Housing portfolio has capital needs of over $250 Million dollars. HUD has never adequately funded capital needs and statutorily prohibits Public Housing from accessing private capital to address those needs. Therefore, to address our over $250 Million dollar capital needs, we will transition our entire Public Housing portfolio to HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program and others that will enable access to market debt and equity for the preservation, redevelopment, and new construction of affordable housing. To learn more about our Vision 2030 please visit https://www.columbiahousingsc.org/vision-2030

Again, thank you for visiting our website and business portal. We invite you to register to receive updates on the home page under the "Sign Up for News" link. 

Sincerely,
Ivory N. Mathews Signature
Ivory N. Mathews
Chief Executive Officer