COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -The initial volume of the 2019 South Carolina Housing Needs Assessment presents hard truths regarding the challenges that citizens, and the Palmetto state as a whole, face in the housing market.
The cost of housing is increasing in the state and the amount of money that people earn to pay for housing is not. Even at a time where the economy as a whole is performing well, there are an increasing number of individuals and families who are struggling to meet their basic needs for shelter.
According to the most recent federal data, over a quarter of a million households in South Carolina spent more than half their income on housing or have no income at all.
The need for affordable housing in South Carolina is substantial.
Within the 2019 South Carolina Housing Needs Assessment, it revealed that in 41 out of 46 counties, the average renter cannot afford a basic two bedroom apartment without overextending their budget. Hampton, Darlington, Fairfield, Marlboro and Oconee are the only counties considered to be affordable.
South Carolina has the highest rate of evictions in the U.S. which leads to severe housing instability for poorer tenants.
There are about 72,00 subsidized housing units in the state, however they only serve 20% of low-income renters statewide. More than 4,000 South Carolinians were counted as experiencing homelessness last January according to the assessment. The assessment also makes note that this is only a small portion of the total affected population.
Excessively high housing costs caused 32% of households in the state, including more than half of all renters, to come up short in meeting their most basic needs. This shortfall, also known as shelter poverty, costs the state $8.4 billion that is borne by public assistance, private charity or personal deprivation.
You can read the full report below: