Published on July 9th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Midlands Housing Trust Fund generates $4.8 million economic impact

By providing Midlands residents with access to quality and affordable housing options, the Midlands Housing Trust Fund (MHTF) generates an economic impact of $4.8 million in South Carolina’s seven-county Midlands region every year, according to a new study by economists at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.

The impact results from new construction and the rehabilitation of housing and community development projects in low- to moderate-income communities, which the MHTF helps fund.

“In the wake of the 2008 recession, mortgage lending practices tightened, limiting potential homeownership options for low- and moderate-income families,” said Brian Huskey, MHTF executive director. “This created a greater demand for more rental housing options, especially for households below 80 percent of Area Median Income, which in Richland County is about $49,000 for a family of four. So the Midlands Housing Trust Fund was created to help finance affordable housing options for families who need them. That’s our mission. Not only are we bettering lives, we better communities through the economic activity we’re spurring.”

The study also documents the need for affordable housing in the Midlands, noting that approximately one-third of Midlands households experience “housing cost burden,” meaning that they pay more than 30 percent of their household income on housing costs.

“The economic benefits of housing cannot be overstated,” said Joseph Von Nessen, research economist and the study’s principal author. “Not only does the housing market represent nearly 15 percent of all economic activity in the United States, but the creation of stable housing environments generates many economic and social benefits. A vibrant and affordable housing market provides residents of any community the ability to attain not only financial security but also the ability to build family wealth over time.”

The annual economic impact of $4.8 million in the Midlands region represents the total value of all goods and services associated — directly or indirectly — with the economic activities of the MHTF.

Von Nessen said this impact corresponds to nearly $1.4 million in income for Midlands residents.

The study also showed that the economic activity supported through the MHTF generates an increase in tax revenue for the state, which has totaled more than $300,000 since the MHTF was created in 2011. And, MHTF construction and rehabilitation projects currently in the planning phases have the potential to generate an additional $1 million in revenue for the state over the next five years.

“While the economic impact of the fund is impressive, the fact that such impact can be achieved while providing affordable housing options is what truly makes the Midlands Housing Trust Fund special,” said Jeff Allen, chairman of the MHTF board of directors.  “The need for quality affordable housing is unrelenting and we’re continuing to increase our capacity to fund affordable housing options.

The Trust is able to work with affordable housing developers throughout the Midlands and offer flexible financing arrangements to fund projects that would not otherwise get off of the drawing board.  The activities of the Midlands Housing Trust Fund are made possible by the generosity of public and private donors and investors. We’re committed to maximize leveraging of those resources to increase the number of affordable housing options in the Midlands and to help build capacity of developers so they can do more projects.”

The MHTF’s economic impact of $4.8 million is associated with a statewide output multiplier of 1.9, which means for every $100 non-state dollars facilitated by the MHTF for affordable housing initiatives, an additional $90 dollars in economic activity is generated elsewhere in the Midlands.

The Midlands Housing Trust Fund is a public/private partnership funded in part by the United Way of Midlands, the City of Columbia and Richland County as well as corporations and foundations.  South Carolina has two additional housing trust funds: the South Carolina Community Loan Fund and Community Works Carolina, which serve communities in the Lowcountry and Upstate, respectively.

About the Midlands Housing Trust Fund:

The Midlands Housing Trust Fund (MHTF) is a non-profit revolving loan fund created in 2011 as an initiative of the United Way of the Midlands to provide financing, technical assistance, and advocacy for the creation, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing for households at or below 80% of Area Median Income in Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties of South Carolina. Since its inception in 2011, MHTF has invested more than $400,000 that has leveraged more than $7 million from other public and private sources and has created or preserved more than 100 units of affordable housing in the Midlands region. Learn more about us here:

Learn about the loan products offered by the Midlands Housing Trust Fund here:

Find out how the Midlands Housing Trust Fund is supported here:

Want to know more about how housing trust funds work? Read more here:

Housing trust funds in South Carolina were created as a result of the William C Mesher Local Housing Trust Fund Enabling Act:


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