Feb. - Apr.

Quantify the County's housing needs and the resources needed to address the issue.



May - Jul.

Identify tools, programs, and partnerships that can tackle the issue.



Aug. - Dec.

Finalize the action plan, and lay out a clear path forward.

Frequently Asked Questions

Charleston County Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization (HNR) wants you to join us as we host several public meetings to discuss housing needs, our developing community engagement survey, and gain feedback about HNR's comprehensive housing plan, Housing Our Future. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provided funding to Charleston County for Coronavirus pandemic relief and economic recovery. The Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization (HNR) has been given the responsibility to plan, award, and distribute these funds to achieve the maximum level of community impact. We hope to see you there!

The Charleston region's affordable housing problem is no secret—it has long been a pressing issue affecting the community's wellbeing, and there has been a lot of important work to study the issue and identify possible strategies.

But the County has never before created a comprehensive housing plan to guide its approach to the issue. Housing Our Future is that comprehensive action plan—it will define the need, identify the strategies, and chart a sustainable course for its work on this issue.

The County has established a new Department of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. This department was established to shepherd the Housing Our Future plan, and to own its implementation.

It is crucial that the community shapes the plan—and there will be many opportunities to participate.

Housing Our Future will include roundtable interviews, neighborhood conversations, community workshops, and a survey to ensure the plan reflects the community's experience and desired approach to addressing housing.

County Council will form a Steering Committee of local experts and community leaders to advise the process at every step of the way. Housing Our Future will also convene a Municipal Leaders Group to make sure the plan identifies opportunities for regional collaboration on housing challenges.

In November 2020, Charleston County asked voters if they would be willing to pay a modestly higher property tax to fund a new countywide affordable housing initiative. The ballot measure narrowly failed (by a 50.88 percent to 49.12 percent margin). The main reason voters gave for not supporting the ballot measure was that they didn't feel there was a clear plan for how the funds would be used.

There is no pre-determined idea of what Housing Our Future will recommend, but it is possible that a dedicated public source of funding will be part of the strategies explored in the process. The particular use, purpose, and oversight of any new public funds (as part of a broader housing strategy) will be important considerations as County Council reviews its options and priorities.

"Affordability" is a broad concept that relates to whether a given household, regardless of income, can afford quality, stable housing options. Housing is conventionally understood to be "affordable" if the household pays no more than 30% of its income toward housing costs (i.e., rent or a mortgage payment).

The term "affordable housing" typically describes housing that is affordable to households with low and moderate incomes. This includes:

  • "Dedicated affordable housing" which is specifically created and reserved for households at specific income levels, that typically have the most trouble finding quality affordable options. Dedicated affordable housing requires some form of support (e.g., subsidy, incentives, policy, etc.).
  • "Naturally occurring affordable housing" which is affordable to households with low and moderate incomes not because of any subsidy or price restriction, but simply due to a lower market value (often related to its age, location, or condition).

Housing Our Future is focused on housing affordability generally, and will be exploring solutions that expand quality affordable housing options for people at all levels of income, including supporting workforce housing availability. But the process will give special attention to housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income households, because these are the households most burdened by the shortage of affordable housing in the region.