Skip to Main Content

21 Reasons to Celebrate 2021


21 Reasons to Celebrate 2021

A message of Gratitude & Appreciation from Columbia & Cayce Housing's Chief Executive Officer, Ivory N. Mathews

Ivory Mathews - Headshot - Red Jacket without background.png

Over the past two and a half years, Columbia and Cayce Housing has been on a transformational journey that has given us a strategic advantage, particularly in today's environment. Despite the challenges of maneuvering through the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 was a successful and rewarding year for Columbia and Cayce Housing. We held firm to our optimistic outlook, which matriculated into a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. Optimism was our catalyst for achieving extraordinary results. We became self-proclaimed pivot masters, remaining laser-focused and unflappable in taking intentional and strategic steps towards our goal of becoming the premier provider of affordable housing that our community deserves. We are 100% committed to delivering equitable housing solutions to the families we are of service to. We will continue planning, executing, turning obstacles into opportunities, and enacting pure grit in getting the job done.

As we continue on this transformational journey, I want to personally say Thank You to our residents, program participants, partners, and the community for your support, feedback, and patience in graciously granting Columbia Housing the opportunity to become the housing provider our community deserves.

As we reflect on 2021, we have a lot to be thankful for and I want to take this time to share with you Columbia Housing's 21 Reasons to Celebrate 2021.

 "Great things in business are never done by 1 person, they're done by a team of people."

- - - - Steve Jobs

 1   Launched VISION 2030, a $500 Million Affordable Housing Preservation, Redevelopment & New Construction Plan. #QualityAffordableHousing

oaks at st anna park.png

Oaks at St. Anna's Park (formerly Gonzales Gardens) slated to begin construction in 2022

   Launched Columbia Housing's Affordable Housing Bond Program serving as a conduit for the issuance of $489 Million in affordable housing tax-exempt bonds for the development and preservation of 1,847 Affordable Housing Units throughout the city of Columbia, Richland County and the city of Cayce, SC. #VISION2030

 3  Began a $1.2 Million Rehabilitation Plan for the preservation of all 44 affordable housing units under Cayce Housing's portfolio. #CayceHousing

 4  16,000 Individuals receiving affordable housing services throughout the City of Cayce, City of Columbia, and Richland County SC. #HousingEquality

 5  47 National Awards of Merit in the categories of Administrative Innovation & Resident Services from the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). #ResidentsFirst

46 NAHRO Awards - 4.jpg

**pictured in photo left to right: Yvonda A. Bean, Chief Operating Officer; Crystal Stevens, Resident Services Assistant; Peter Strong, Continuum of Care Case Manager; Sonia Caldwell, ROSS Coordinator; Shawnte Dukes, Driver; Ivan Carter, ROSS Coordinator; Taleshia Stewart, SVP of Resident & Strategic Initiatives; Lee McRoberts, Cheif of Staff; Kenneth Joyner, FSS Coordinator; Gay Ferguson, Continuum of Care Case Manager; Ivan Larrymore, ROSS Coordinator; Cynthia Boykin, FSS Program Coordinator;  Teneasha Perkins, Homeownership Coordinator; Jamie Drew, Continuum of Care Coordinator; and Ivory N. Mathews, Chief Executive Officer 

 6    93% Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Rate, creating a safe working environment for employees and the families we serve. #MaxTheVax

 7  20,000+ Letters submitted to SC members of Congress urging their support of dedicated resources for the preservation and expansion of affordable housing. #CHAdvocates

 8  50,000+ Friends from our Website E-News subscribers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, YouTube trailblazers, and Instagram fans. #WeAppreciateYou #Transparency&Accountability

 9  Maintenance Apprenticeship Program was launched in partnership with Columbia Housing, Cayce Housing, Midlands Technical College, and Carolina Apprenticeship. #BuildingABluePrintofExcellence

Apprenticeship Program 1.JPG

**pictured in photo from left to right: Kimberly Williams, business solutions director of Midlands Technical College; Kirsten Pratt, youth and community apprenticeship consultant of Apprenticeship Carolina; Yvonda Bean, chief operating officer of Columbia Housing; Dr. Amy Firestone, vice president of Apprenticeship Carolina; Dr. Ron Rhames, president of Midlands Technical College; Ivory Mathews, chief executive officer of Columbia Housing; Rodney Wier, superintendent of maintenance and Cynthia Gore, vice-president of human resource management 

 10  Named Richland County Government & Community Services Division Organization of the Month, May 2021. #PowerOfPartnerships

 11  Comprehensive renovation of Administrative Office Building to bring our central operating HUB into the 21st century and enhance back-office operations, actualizing the new culture of operational excellence. #IncreasingOperationalEffficiency

 12  200+ Partners assisting Columbia/Cayce Housing with expanding the quality of life services beyond bricks and mortar. #CommUNITY #CHCares

 13  Collegiate Athletic and Academic Scholarship partnership with Allen University to provide one (1) academic scholarship complete with room and board to a Columbia Housing resident. #CreatingALegacyOfLeaders

Allen University & CH Partnership 1.jpg

** pictured in photo from left to right: Yvonda A. Bean, Chief Operating Officer - Columbia Housing; James Chatfield, Commissioner - Columbia Housing; Ivory N. Mathews, Chief Executive Officer - Columbia Housing; Dr. Ernest McNealey, President - Allen University; Kara Simmons, Commissioner - Columbia Housing; Dub Taylor, Vice President of Institutional Advancement - Allen University; and Cynthia Pryor-Hardy, Senior Vice President of Communications - Columbia Housing

 14  Proceeded with the demolition of Allen Benedict Court in preparation for creating a legacy community where families can live, work, and thrive as all other citizens in our community. #AffordableHousingMatters

ABC 2.jpg

 15  300+ Virtual Workshops in the categories of First-Time Homebuyers, Employment Opportunities, Career Development, Life Skills, Primary Medical Care and Health Services, Financial Management, Social Skills, etc. #ResidentsFirst #CHCares

 16   4,968 Families provided rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV). #StabalizingFamilies

 17  $32 Million in rental assistance paid to 2,000+ private property owners, providing approximately 5,000 families with an affordable place to call home. #AffordableHousingIsEconomicDevelopment

 18  Ending homelessness for 557 formerly homeless families through several Housing First Programs to include the Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program and the newly launched Emergency Housing Vouchers Program. #EndingHomelessness

Coc Team.jpg

**pictured in photo left to right: Jamie Drew, Continuum of Care Coordinator; Taleshia Stewart, SVP of Resident & Strategic Initiatives; Peter Strong, Continuum of Care Case Manager; and Gay Ferguson, Continuum of Care Case Manager

 19  Completed the replacement of all outdated antiquated legacy hardware and software technology systems with robust, scalable, and modern cloud-based technology platforms, bringing back-office technology into the 21st century. #ImprovingOperataionalEfficiency

 20  Featured articles in nationally recognized affordable housing media spaces, the Affordable Housing News, SERCulator, NAHRO Awards of Merit Catalog, CCHRCO's Cornerstone News, and PHADA Advocate. #RebuildingPublicTrust

 21  Podcast guest on Change Makers Podcast with Katie Goar, ReThink IT Podcast with Abhijit Verekar, Trailblazers Impact Podcast with Nan McKay, and The Ben Morton Leadership Podcast with Ben Morton. #LeadershipThroughTransformation

As we approach 2022, I am excited about Vision 2030, the affordable housing blueprint, that Columbia and Cayce Housing is poised to capitalize on. Vision 2030 was propelled by our innovation, fueled by collaboration, and accelerated by our renewed standard and culture of creating quality affordable housing.

I am so thankful for the community that surrounds us every day at Columbia and Cayce Housing. I am thankful for the passionate and enthusiastic staff of Columbia and Cayce Housing who show up every day with such enthusiasm and open hearts to do this transformative work. I am thankful for the Columbia and Cayce Housing Board of Commissioners and Resident Advisory Boards, our passionate affordable housing advocates, and all of you who support our work in every way. TOGETHER, we will make a difference.

Best of wishes in 2022,

Ivory N. Mathews, CEO

Follow Us At

Facebook logo  Twitter logo  LinkedIn logo  YouTube logo  

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