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In Charleston, Earn Up to $58,900 and Qualify for Workforce Housing

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In Charleston, Earn Up to $58,900 and Qualify for Workforce Housing

Changes in income standards in Charleston are offering new opportunities for low-income households. Surprisingly, individuals earning up to $58,900 annually are now considered “low income,” thus qualifying for workforce housing, among other state homebuyer assistance programs. This move has significant implications for those who were previously unable to afford stable housing in the city.

The Transformation of the “Low Income” Category

The revised income benchmarks represent a paradigm shift in the categorization of “low income” households. Typically, income standards are gauged as a fraction of the area’s median income. For instance, if you earn up to 80% of Charleston’s median income—calculated at $73,625 for a single person or $84,125 for a two-person family—you are technically considered as low-income. Anyone earning up to $58,900 annually, or 80% of the median income, can now avail themselves of the workforce housing quota in Charleston and elsewhere.

Implications of the New Benchmark

While this sudden shift in income benchmarks might seem startling, it is a signal of rising incomes across the city and the state of South Carolina. For those already residing in workforce housing, the increased income limit diminishes the risk of eviction should their earnings increase. However, it is worth noting that the rents for workforce units, typically 30% of the top-limit income, could also rise in correspondence to the heightened income limit.

Case in Point: Morrison Yard Apartments

For a practical understanding of how the new income limits impact housing in Charleston, let’s take a look at an example. The fairly new Morrison Yard apartments situated on the Charleston peninsula offer both conventional and workforce apartments. A one-bedroom unit goes for over $2,700 per month. However, there are 19 workforce apartments reserved for those earning no more than 60% of the median income—rendered as a point between “low income” and “very low income” by HUD. As of the previous year, these were rented out at $964.50 per month. Given the new income benchmarks, more people may qualify for these units, but it also means that the rents would increase proportionately.

Effect on Homebuyer Assistance Programs

South Carolina runs several incentive and assistance programs for homebuyers, many of which use income as a qualification standard. With the newly revised median incomes, income limits for these programs have also increased. For example, a household of one or two people could earn up to $101,760 annually—up $2,280 from last year—and still qualify for homebuying programs. These offer a variety of perks, including down payments assistance, tax credits, and more. The specific income limits may vary across counties.

In conclusion, the newly revised income standards have major implications for the housing prospects of those who were previously excluded due to income restrictions. It is also important for landlords, property management companies, and policymakers to understand these changes and adapt to serve the evolving housing needs of Charleston residents.


In Charleston, Earn Up to $58,900 and Qualify for Workforce Housing

HERE Irmo
Author: HERE Irmo

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