Housing Affordability a Growing Issue in Charleston, SC

Our friends down in Charleston, SC are facing a real housing affordability challenge:

Renting isn’t any easier. The average rent in the Charleston metro area in September topped $1,600, higher than the national average and other major cities in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, according to a Post and Courier analysis of rental listings data.

Prices are even higher closer to the region’s job centers. As a result, teachers, nurses, police officers and others workers often can’t afford to live in the communities they serve. Many are heading farther into the outskirts in search of cheap housing, and that means more commuters piling onto already congested roads…

Greenville and Columbia are beginning to feel the crunch, as well, but Charleston by far has the most advanced shortage of affordable housing in South Carolina.

Affordability is an issue throughout the country, including the Piedmont Triad, but the attention has mostly focused on major metros like San Francisco and New York. It’s now being noticed in smaller cities like Charleston and it will be incumbent upon the apartment industry to help municipal leaders understand how to address the issue effectively, and not adopt well-intended policies that actually make the problem worse, like rent control and inclusionary zoning.