Skip to Main Content

Message from Columbia Housing CEO Ivory N. Mathews


Housing is Infrastructure

National Call-In Day

A Message From Columbia Housing's Chief Executive Officer, Ivory N. Mathews to her Resident Families, Community Partners, Grassroots Organizations, the Public, Affordable Housing Colleagues, and ALL Affordable Housing Advocates

Today I along with members of my team made personal phone calls to members of Congress to speak up for our community. We urged members of Congress to push for major investments in housing to be included in any infrastructure package that moves through Congress.

We invite you to join us!

We recently launched VISION 2030, a $500 Million dollar plan to address more than a $250 Million capital backlog in Columbia Housing's public housing real-estate portfolio. VISION 2030 is an aggressive plan to meet the needs of quality affordable housing that our community deserves. To see this plan realized, we need public and private resources to preserve the affordable housing units in our public housing portfolio (that have not deteriorated beyond repair) through comprehensive renovation and to build new quality affordable housing with modern amenities.

We need your help! We invite you to join us in urging Congress to include affordable housing for HUD Programs in the Infrastructure package. We need these funds to support the VISION 2030 plan

Click on the Housing is Infrastructure Letter or the picture below and submit.   

Housing is Infrastructure - 3.jpg

Ivory N. Mathews, CEO of Columbia Housing currently serves in the following local, state, regional, and national affordable housing advocacy roles:

  • Congressional Contact for the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)
  • Legislative Representative - SC on the Legislative Committee for the Southeastern Regional Council of NAHRO (SERC-NAHRO)
  • Senior Vice-President for the Carolina's Council of Housing, Redevelopment & Codes Officials (CCHRCO)
  • Legislative Representative - SC on the Legislative Committee for the Carolina's Council of Housing, Redevelopment & Codes Officials (CCHRCO)
  • Board Member of the Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee for the South Carolina State Housing Finance, and Development Authority
  • Member of the SC Association of Housing Authority Executive Directors
  • Member of the City of Columbia's Affordable Housing Taskforce

#CHAdvocates #HousingIsInfrastructure #ColumbiaHousing #CayceHousing #AffordableHousingMatters #HousersAtWork #NAHRO #SERCNAHRO #CCHRCO 


House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) released on April 12, 2021, an updated discussion draft of the "Housing is Infrastructure Act."

The Housing is Infrastructure Act:

  • Invests $70 billion to preserve public housing for current and future generations.

Public housing is critical to ensuring people with the greatest needs have a safe, decent, affordable, and accessible place to call home, and the preservation of this community asset must be included in any strategy to ensure housing is a human right.

Congress has divested from public housing for decades, resulting in over $70 billion in unmet capital backlog needs. As a result, our nation loses 10,000 to 15,000 units of public housing every year to obsolescence or decay and other units fall into disrepair.

An investment of $70 billion would fully address the backlog of capital needs and result in $132 billion in regional economic activity and 770,000 jobs.

The bill also repeals the Faircloth amendment, which has prevented communities from building more public housing.

  • Provides $45 billion through the National Housing Trust Fund to build new homes.

The Housing Trust Fund is the first new federal housing resource in a generation exclusively targeted to build and preserve rental homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes. It is the only federal housing production program targeted to address the market failure that is an underlying cause of the housing crisis.

An investment of $45 billion in the Housing Trust Fund would result in the creation and preservation of more than 211,000 homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes, and it would create more than 285,000 jobs.

  • Promotes fair and equitable development.

The bill directs several federal agencies - including HUD, Treasury, FEMA, and Agriculture - to require grantees to consult with qualified fair housing enforcement organizations and local fair housing government agencies when applying for investments.

Federal agencies are also required to report annually to Congress on outcomes, including the number of homes built and preserved, the percentage of homes affordable to households at different income levels, the number of homes built in low-poverty census tracts and communities of color, and other outcomes disaggregated by protected classes and geography.

The bill also provides $2.5 billion to ensure greater fair housing enforcement, and it provides robust resources to help communities reduce zoning and land-use restrictions that increase housing costs and prevent people of color and low-income households from accessing neighborhoods of their choice.

These measures will help ensure that federal resources are invested equitably to help begin the vital and necessary work of undoing racism and discrimination rooted in our housing system.

  • Addresses climate change and the need for environmental sustainability.

The bill requires that at least 15% of capital investments address climate and natural disaster resilience, water, and energy efficiency, and other strategies to enhance the environmental sustainability of housing production and design.

Other measures in the bill include:

  • $2 billion to address urgent housing needs in tribal nations, and $2 billion to preserve affordable homes in rural America.
  • $5 billion to address lead-hazards and other unsafe housing conditions.
  • Resources to help build and preserve homes, through the HOME Investment Partnerships program, Capital Magnet Fund, and programs that serve seniors and people with disabilities.
  • Down payment assistance for homebuyers.
  • A national infrastructure bank to facilitate investments.

[*Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition]

Follow Us At

Facebook logo  Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logo  

Please visit our website at for more information about Columbia Housing.