The Affordable Housing Shortage
One of the Most Complex Issues in Our Community
In today’s social and political climate, “affordable housing” is quite the topic of conversation. The term refers to housing—rental or owner occupied—that costs the resident less than 30% of their gross monthly income, including rent, mortgage, home maintenance, and repairs.
The populations that bear the brunt of the affordable housing shortage are, not shockingly, some of the most traditionally underserved. Senior citizens. People with disabilities. Low-income families. People experiencing a sudden hardship. These are our neighbors. Our teachers. Our parents and grandparents. They need our help.
New Homes Aren’t the Only Answer
Creating Additional Infrastructure Is Not Always Sustainable
In Upstate SC, much of the affordable housing conversation centers around our community’s rapid and continued growth. Lawmakers, activists, and community members alike agree that we need more affordable housing for our growing population.
But simply building new affordable housing units has proven not to be sustainable. For context, approximately 100,000 affordable housing units are built across the United States each year. And for every new unit built, two are lost due to deterioration, abandonment, or conversion to more expensive housing. With this approach, we’re essentially taking one step forward and two steps back.
A Different Kind of Solution
Home Preservation Breaks the Cycle
Through home preservation, we’re able to repair and improve existing homes to make life easier and safer for residents.
By keeping longtime residents in their homes, we are minimizing the number of low-income individuals who would have otherwise needed to search for affordable housing in the area. And home preservation doesn’t just save time and money by utilizing existing infrastructure—it also contributes to residents’ health, happiness, and stability, ultimately leading to a higher quality of life.
It’s Bigger Than Housing
A Safe and Healthy Home Can Change Everything
The idea is simple: if you protect the home, then you protect the homeowner living inside of it. Studies have indicated that housing conditions can have a significant impact on overall health, education, and other outcomes.
Substandard housing is a major public health issue. Poor housing conditions are associated with a wide range of health conditions, like respiratory infections, asthma, lead poisoning, and injuries.
What Rebuild Upstate Is Doing To Address Affordable Housing
Rebuild Upstate believes the best home for a homeowner who is at-risk in the affordable housing crisis is the home they already own. To that end, we provide volunteers and materials to make homes safe, healthy, and sustainable for our neighbors in need. By exclusively focusing on home repairs and improvements, we allow residents to remain in their homes to maintain stability and dignity.