Features

Published on June 19th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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SOUTH CAROLINIANS DESERVE A BETTER DEAL ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Pictured US Congressman James Clyburn

In my last newsletter, I laid out the impact the new Republican tax law would have on middle-income Americans, and I offered some proposals for a better deal.  I’ve heard from a large number of you expressing grave concerns that the new tax law would make the affordable housing crisis worse. Unfortunately, it will. According to Novogradac & Company, because of the tax law’s adverse impact on low-income housing tax credits, 235,000 fewer affordable housing units—nearly twenty percent—will be built over the next ten years.

Meanwhile, according to the Post & Courier, in South Carolina, the cost of rent rose at twice the rate of income over the last few years, which has undoubtedly contributed to North Charleston and Columbia being ranked the #1 and #8 cities for eviction by the Princeton-backed, EvictonLab.org. According to EvictionLab, South Carolina evicts families from their homes at a rate four times higher than the national average. In this newsletter, I propose a better deal on affordable housing.

Home ownership and safe and secure housing are central to stabilizing communities and building family wealth. Martin Luther King, Jr. often spoke of the beloved community, and in the title of his last book, he asked a poignant question, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”

Today, fifty years after King’s death, that question still looms large. The results of recent studies are ominous. Skyrocketing evictions, steady foreclosures, fewer affordable housing units and increased rent to live in public housing at a time when wages have not kept pace are raw deals that could create the ‘perfect storm’ of chaos. America’s and South Carolina’s families deserve a better deal.

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