A Message From Interim Chief Executive Officer - Yvonda A. Bean
A Message from Yvonda A. Bean (she/her)
Interim Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director
Columbia Housing & Cayce Housing
Greetings and welcome to Columbia Housing's and Cayce Housing's website and business portal! During the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, our website and business portal has proven to be a critical tool in our outreach strategy to maintain open lines of communications with our residents, Board of Commissioners, business partners, and the public at-large. We trust you will find our website useful, too.
Columbia Housing and Cayce Housing prides themselves in being engaged members of the communities we serve. Boasting strong alliances with over 200 community partners has strengthened our efforts to better serve our 16,000+ residents. The cross sector of immeasurable public and private resources provided by our community partners give our residents opportunities above and beyond the affordable housing we provide.
We are at a very pivotal point in history, as it relates to housing options for our community. We are experiencing an affordable housing crisis like none we've seen before. Housing prices have soared at record levels. In the past year, national home prices increased 19% and national rents increased by nearly 18%. During the same period, South Carolina's home prices increased 11% and rents increased by as much as 15% depending on the bedroom size. Unfortunately, wages are not increasing at the same rates.
We are committed to creating affordable and equitable housing solutions. In May of 2021, we publicly 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 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.
Vision 2030 is the blueprint that Columbia Housing and Cayce Housing will use for the next 8 years to reposition our entire Public Housing portfolio. We are on track to create new quality affordable housing in the City of Columbia and Richland County through public/private partnerships utilizing 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. Tenants will continue to receive rental assistance from HUD that will pay the difference between tenant rent and the market rent. There will be no negative impact on the family.
Furthermore, Vision 2030 includes the investment of over $500 million dollars for preservation, redevelopment, and new construction of affordable housing. This $500 million economic investment will improve the quality of our existing portfolio, increase the supply of affordable housing in the City of Columbia and throughout Richland County, and significantly contribute to the local economy by 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.
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 affordable housing to 6,500 families throughout the City of Columbia and Richland County through our Housing Choice Voucher Program, Public Housing Program, and non-subsidized affordable housing programs.
The Public Housing Program is one of our signature programs. The term Public Housing is often used incorrectly to represent all low-income affordable housing. However, Public Housing is a specific federal program, and it was the nation's 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 in Public Housing properties nationwide. Congressional appropriations have never adequately funded HUD's Public Housing portfolio.
Columbia Housing, like many housing authorities across the country, is turning to the private market to address our backlog of capital needs. Vision 2030 is a bold and progressive blueprint that offers an affordable housing solution. For updates or to learn more about 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.