Background

Greenville has seen tremendous economic growth over the past decade, particularly in the City’s downtown core. While that growth has been positive in many respects, one of the bi-products of that growth has been increased pressure on Greenville’s housing affordability. In Greenville County, roughly 50,000 households pay more than 30% of their income toward housing.

Throughout Greenville County:

  • Most cost-burdened households are headed up by individuals 35 years old or younger
  • Roughly 20% of those living in low income census tracts do not have access to a vehicle
  • A lack of affordable rental options and increasing prices of homeownership make housing affordability a greater challenge in Greenville County outside the city limits
  • There is a shortage of one- and two-bedroom homes needed for young families and workforce families
  • More than 40,000 households across the county earn 80% of the area median income or below

A Steering Committee of multiple stakeholders was formed in 2016 to develop and implement a long-term plan to ensure that Greenville has a full and robust housing ladder for all. The culmination of that work was the launch of the Greenville Housing Fund in 2018, which serves as an advocate and champion for affordable housing, invests in affordable housing development and preservation, and acquires land to facilitate affordable housing development opportunities.

The Greenville Housing Fund and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority created a communitywide strategic plan for addressing city and county affordable housing needs to address the above identified barriers.

Hollingsworth Funds’ Involvement

Hollingsworth Funds has been a long-time investor in housing affordability in Greenville. One of the major barriers to economic mobility is residential segregation by income, occupation and race. The preservation and development of strong mixed-income communities can mitigate the distribution and production challenges our community faces. Hollingsworth was a leader on the Steering Committee. We invested in the early stage research and planning work conducted by housing consultant, CZB, and we made a general operating support grant to help launch the Greenville Housing Fund.

While our primary focus is on long-term, systems-level solutions to housing affordability, Hollingsworth continues to invest in specific preservation and new production projects. Recent examples include an investment in Genesis Homes to purchase and preserve 12 lots in Nicholtown as well as an investment into a partnership with the City, Homes of Hope and Habitat for Humanity to build 13 new homes in Sterling.