COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - SC Housing is encouraging more families to invest in homeownership and is offering additional financial help to those who may be interested.
Homeownership assistance is a part of the agency’s mission to provide quality, affordable housing throughout the state.
A spokesman with SC Housing, Clayton Ingram, says the agency is dedicated to making sure every South Carolinian can live in safe and desirable housing without having to live above their means.
SC Housing provides various multi-family housing properties across the state, and also helps with homeownership.
The agency recently released its 2019 SC Housing Needs Assessment, showing an affordable housing crisis for our state. It’s the first time a report of this kind has been done for the state in nearly 20 years.
More than 30% of SC households – including half of all renters in the state – are coming up short when it comes to meeting basic needs such as food, clothing and transportation because of excessively high housing costs.
The report also says that only five of our state’s 46 counties have two-bedroom apartments available at a price the average renter can afford without overextending his/her budget.
Ingram said this is exactly what SC Housing is working to combat, and for people of all different income levels.
“When we say affordable housing, we mean just that, and that means different things for different people, but we’re not talking about only low-income people," Ingram said. "There are some people, some families in South Carolina that are homeless, have no income, but there are also some that are working every day, whose incomes are stretched in this housing market. We try to make it possible for them to live in quality, safe, affordable housing near where they work, where their children go to school.”
There are several programs through SC Housing of which many South Carolinians may not be aware. This includes homeownership assistance through the Hardest Hit Fund. That funding was provided by the U.S. Treasury Department after the Great Recession.
Typically, SC Housing offers $6,000 to help with a down payment to buy a home.
Right now, those who qualify are being offered $15,000 dollars for a down payment, as well as a 30-year mortgage with a low fixed interest rate. It’s something Ingram describes as one of the best deals the agency has ever offered.
Ingram said homeownership is more attainable than some people may think.
“We find that a lot of people, if they can afford to make a rent payment in this market where rents are very high, can make a home payment," Ingram said. "They just have trouble saving for the down payment and the closing costs, the upfront costs that you have to have before you can actually close the deal. We provide that.”
The homeownership assistance offering $15,000 to help with a down payment is available in 24 zip codes in Richland, Lexington and Sumter Counties.
For more information, visit SC Housing’s website by clicking or tapping here.
The agency also helps with home repairs and foreclosure.
Ingram says, already, SC Housing has helped more than 30,000 families avoid foreclosure.