What it takes to actually afford ‘affordable housing’ in Greenville

The updated Mosaic project site plan submitted to the City of Greenville Planning Commission on April 19, 2021.

The city of Greenville has 600 units of “affordable housing” in the works, the majority of them rentals. 

But “affordable” isn’t one-price-fits-all.

Affordable housing units in Greenville are set at a percentage of the area median income. Greenville’s area median income is $56,609, according to U.S. Census data.

So, if you make 30% of the area median income, you make about $17,000 a year. In that case, following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidance that 30% of income be spent on housing to maintain the ability to afford other needs, you shouldn’t pay more than $424 per month. 

If you’re a teacher in Greenville County with a starting salary of about $41,500, you make about 70% of the area median income, and you should pay no more than $1,037 per month on housing.

Keep the subject going:The ‘affordable housing’ planned in Greenville largely ignores those who need it most

Here’s breakdown of affordable housing units known to be in the planning process, under construction or recently completed in the city of Greenville — and what it takes to actually afford them.

Downtown Greenville developments

  • Two downtown apartment projects, McClaren and CitiSculpt, will include 106 affordable units.
  • Half of the units will be set at 60% of the area median income, and half will be set at 80%, meaning they will cost between $849 and $1,132.
  • A first-year police officer with just a high school diploma making about $19 an hour would be able to afford these apartments.
  • The McClaren project, located at 1 Wardlaw St., is currently under construction and completion is expected in six to eight months.
  • The CitiSculpt project is on Academy Street and its site development plan is being finalized. Construction is expected to begin in the fall.

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