Affordable Housing Message from Chairman Ernest W. Cromartie, III
Columbia Housing's Affordable Housing Message from Chairman Ernest W. Cromartie, III
Over the next 10 years, Columbia Housing estimates we will invest over $500 million dollars in preserving and expanding affordable housing for the families in the city of Columbia and throughout Richland County.
Dear Colleagues, Partners, Residents, and Community,
Columbia Housing has an essential role in our community to provide affordable housing for people with low and moderate incomes.
Housing is primarily a private market enterprise and most housing in this country is privately built and owned. Nevertheless, the federal government has long played a role in assisting in the provision of safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families. The low-rent Public Housing program was the original effort through which the federal government supported this policy goal. Yet in recent years, the federal commitment to affordable housing has diminished and funding has been significantly reduced resulting in a capital backlog of over $70 billion nationwide.
Columbia Housing has provided housing for the most vulnerable residents of our community for over 80 years, utilizing the traditional Public Housing program funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, we have encountered challenges in managing and properly maintaining our Public Housing communities due to the continued decrease in federal funding to meet capital needs and operating costs. Recognizing these challenges, HUD has provided new opportunities that will enable us to develop innovative solutions and more easily access private sector capital.
Over the past twenty years, we have lost 40% of our original Public Housing stock due to obsolescence. Our remaining communities no longer provide quality housing alternatives for the residents of our City. Exasperating the problem of deteriorating Public Housing is the increased demand for affordable housing. Recent economic and market conditions have driven rents in the Columbia area to levels far beyond the reach of many households.
To address the physical needs of the current Public Housing portfolio and meet the ever-increasing demand for affordable housing, Columbia Housing will embark on an aggressive plan to reposition our existing real estate portfolio and expand affordable housing opportunities. Over the next 10 years, Columbia Housing estimates we will invest over $500 million dollars in preserving and expanding affordable housing. This investment will not only increase the quality and supply of affordable housing, but it will also provide economic opportunities for local minorities, women, and small business enterprises we actively engage their participation in these development efforts.
We are pleased to share our Vision along with the Guiding Principles and Values that will drive the repositioning strategies set forth in this strategic plan.
We look forward to working with all members of our community to achieve our Vision.
Ernest W. Cromartie, III, Chairman
Because Columbia Housing cares, we are leveraging the power of housing to build a foundation for individuals and families to thrive.
Communities of opportunity where individuals and families can live, work, and thrive to their fullest potential.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES & VALUES
- We believe that all individuals, no matter what their backgrounds or life circumstances, have the right to safe, quality, affordable housing.
- We believe in the human potential to make positive choices, productive life changes, and valuable contributions to the community.
- We will provide the highest quality housing, complemented by supportive services and excellent property management.
- We will design, develop and rehabilitate resident and service-oriented communities to promote well-being and a sense of place and protect residents from housing insecurity.
- We will expand individual and community capacity by engaging local minorities, women, and small business enterprises in all development efforts.
- We aspire to have a deep awareness of our community's diversity and will treat all individuals with compassion and respect.
- We will advocate for individual opportunity and systemic change supporting those whose voices often remain unheard and unheeded.
- We will conduct all aspects of our business with integrity and accountability.
- We believe that collaborations and partnerships with community stakeholders will enable us to further enhance our work.
- We strive to utilize best practices and develop a culturally competent workforce.
- We will engage and develop our employees, enhancing their knowledge, growth, and understanding so that they may better serve.
- We are stewards of limited resources and will use our resources to thoughtfully develop properties and programs that meet immediate and long-term needs to achieve maximum impact.
- We will strive to provide quality housing and services to seniors who are aging in place.
Affordable Housing Development Partners:
- The Benoit Group
- Brinshore Development
- Hallmark | Duvernay-Brooks
- FA Johnson and Mercy Housing
- Penrose Development
- Paces Foundation
- Connelly Development
- Integral Development & Columbia Empowerment Zone
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Please visit our website at ColumbiaHousingsc.org for more information about Columbia Housing