Unity Park & Affordable Housing: A Letter from the CEO

Unity Park & Affordable Housing: A Letter from our CEO, Jake Beaty

There have been several articles in the news over the past few weeks about Unity Park and the affordable housing issues Greenville is facing. Many voices have articulately expressed the current challenges that exist. I do not wish to revisit the specific arguments that have been presented or attempt to diagnose why these problems exist. Instead, I want to point to what Rebuild Upstate and many other great organizations are doing to try to be part of the solution.

Helping low-income homeowners stay in their homes and communities is why we exist and what we work to accomplish each day. Affordable housing is a challenging and complex issue, and one that will continue as Greenville grows into the future. While these issues may be “out of sight, out of mind” for some, they can not be ignored if we truly care about and want to help our neighbors. There isn’t one single organization or government department that will solve these challenges, but together we can all raise awareness and contribute to making our communities a safe and welcoming place to live for everyone that calls the Upstate home.

While home preservation is not the only thing needed to resolve our community’s affordable housing challenges, I do believe it is one of the most proactive parts of serving and protecting our neighborhoods and neighbors.

As a direct service organization that repairs homes for low-income, owner-occupied households, Rebuild Upstate has repaired over 1,380 homes in the Upstate since 2007. We are committed to serving our neighbors in Greenville, Anderson, Oconee & Pickens Counties for years to come.

To help accomplish this, there is great need for advocacy to find sustainable solutions for affordable housing. Advocacy plays an important role in our ability to repair homes. While it takes a lot of time and work to do advocacy well, we will continue to engage in advocacy opportunities to the fullest extent possible without taking critical resources away from our home repair program.

Right now, Rebuild Upstate plans to engage in advocacy efforts through participation in the Greenville Affordable Housing Coalition, our partnership in the nationwide Coalition for Home Repair, and through continuing to meet with local and state elected officials to highlight the need for continued owner-occupied housing preservation funding.

There is no quick fix, or one size fits all solution to affordable housing. But we can each play a part in advocating for our neighbors. It is unacceptable in this day and age for any of our neighbors to live in an unsafe home.

If you agree, would you pray for and support Rebuild Upstate or other great organizations helping with affordable housing to help enable us to do all we can to serve those around us who are in need?

Jake Beaty, CEO of Rebuild Upstate