The Greenville Housing Fund has created the $4 million GHF Impact Fund to jumpstart financing for the development and preservation of affordable and workforce housing.
The Impact Fund, made public Feb. 8, was formed with capital from 16 local private-sector investors, according to a news release.
Bryan Brown, GHF’s president and CEO, described the new Impact Fund as “catalytic” in its ability to leverage both private-sector financing and public investment for new housing.
“This broad set of investors — including businesses, foundations and private individuals — demonstrates the deep community support for GHF’s mission: they see the need, and they value the goal of ensuring that Greenville can offer a healthy supply of high-quality housing options, affordable to every household working to find a safe and stable home,” he said in the release.
Lead investors include United Bank, Southern First Bank, The Jolley Foundation, The Graham Foundation and multiple individual private investors, in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Greenville’s Donor-Advised Fund program.
Like many communities across the nation, Greenville County is facing an extreme housing shortage, along with skyrocketing rents and home-sales prices, according to the news release.
A 2020 study by the Greenville Housing Fund showed that as many as 45% of renters in Greenville County are “housing cost burdened,” meaning that more than 30% of household income is required to cover housing expenses. Three local studies over the past four years have confirmed that more than 13,000 new and preserved units of housing will be required over the next decade to meet the demand across the county.
“Commitment to our communities is at the heart of United Bank’s culture,” Jim Boyd, market president of United Bank, said in the release. “Working with the GHF Impact Fund allows us to
make a much-needed impact to the growing affordable housing issue in Greenville County. We are proud to be among the first investors to commit our support to the fund and hope other financial institutions and businesses will join us in addressing this important issue.”
GHF has had a hand in creating more than 500 units of affordable housing and preserving another 400 over the past three years, with another 1,000 units in the pipeline to become available on the market within the next few years, according to the nonprofit.
In late January, the city of Greenville Planning Commission approved the final development plan for 100 affordable housing units at The Alliance, a mixed-development apartment complex funded with support from GHF, Graycliff Capital and SCG Development.
The development, designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith to include retail and community-use space, will be built by the Jordon Construction Co. on the corner of Laurens and Ackley Roads starting this summer, according to GHF.
“Many of our donors would like their charitable contributions to be used in an active manner, addressing urgent concerns like Greenville’s affordable housing crisis,” Bob Morris, president of the Community Foundation of Greenville, said in the release. “The GHF Impact Fund provides an opportunity for those contributions to be invested directly, for immediate and visible impact, then returned and re-deployed into future philanthropic efforts.”n