Due to the subsequent challenges residents may face resulting from relocations related to the transportation improvements associated with the I-526 LCC WEST Project, SCDOT is taking a two-pronged approach to addressing the replacement housing needs of the displaced residents in the four EJ communities. Both programs will be completed prior to the completion of the right-of-way acquisition phase, which is projected to begin in 2023 and last until 2027. These dates are based on approval of the environmental documentation without legal challenge and are subject to change.
Single-Family Affordable Replacement Housing Program
SCDOT will work to secure 20 vacant lots within the EJ communities and partner with a local non-profit that specializes in developing or constructing affordable housing to implement a Single-Family Affordable Replacement Housing Program. If SCDOT is unable to acquire all 20 lots within the EJ communities, additional lots for the program will be purchased in adjacent communities. At a minimum, the program should include the following components:
- SCDOT will secure vacant lots, zoned for single-family or duplex homes, in each of the four impacted EJ communities for the purpose of constructing housing for displaced residents who would like to remain in their community. Some of these lots will be preserved for the construction of replacement market rate homes for displaced families that do not fall into the low-income category.
- A majority of the lots would be utilized for low-income affordable replacement Single Family Home Housing Development.
- SCDOT will allocate funds for program administration as well as for the purchase of land/lots.
- SCDOT will engage non-profits to arrange interviews in order to learn more information on what organizations may be interested in and what resources would be required to execute an affordable housing home ownership program for interested families that will be displaced by the I-526 LCC West Project.
- The program would give priority to displaced families but could be opened to other EJ community residents currently renting if there are remaining lots once all families are relocated.
- SCDOT will tentatively issue a Notice of Interest in 2022 and implement an interview and selection process to identify a partnering non-profit organization. During this process, SCDOT will conduct interviews, review qualifications and proposals, and select a non-profit organization that has the capability to develop the replacement homes and administer this program.
SCDOT and Community Office staff will work with the selected non-profit to assist in identifying qualified families and coordinate throughout the application process.
Developer Incentive Affordable Multi-Family Housing Program
SCDOT will partner with the South Carolina State Housing and Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing) to implement the program which will be funded by $1.5M in SCDOT grant funding, SC Housing low-income tax credits, and bond financing. The program will create a funding/finance opportunity for an affordable housing developer to submit a housing proposal that will meet housing priorities based on input from the CAC, SCDOT, POC and SC Housing. At a minimum, the program should include the following components:
- Construction of 100 affordable housing units with a mixture of unit sizes (1 – 3 bedrooms) for the lowest income level category.
- Developments must include green space or a recreational area component.
- Development must be located in close proximity to the impacted communities; the closest developments will be given first priority, but proposed developments must be located, at a minimum, within the City of North Charleston.
Financial Literacy and First Time Home Buyer Counseling
SCDOT will develop partnerships with local organizations to provide financial literacy and first-time home buyer workshops and counseling to residents of the impacted EJ communities. This educational offering is intended to assist participants as they attempt to secure residential loans and transition from renters to homeowners. The counseling will continue until the projected completion of the right-of-way phase in 2027.
For additional questions, please contact the Community Office at 843.258.1135 or visit us in Gas Lite Square (5627 Rivers Avenue).