NLIHC state coalition partner the Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina (AHCSC) is leading efforts to pass legislation that will allow community land trusts statewide and improve housing affordability throughout the state. In May, the State House passed H.B. 3676, the South Carolina Land Trust Act, by a 104-3 vote. The bill was referred to the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee as the regular session came to a close. Advocates anticipate the bill will pass the Senate when the legislature returns in January.
The legislation establishes nonprofit corporations and wholly-owned nonprofit subsidiaries of existing housing development and support organizations that will hold legal title to land and oversee the leasing of land to preserve long-term affordable housing for low income and moderate income households. These community land trusts (CLT) would have the legal authority to purchase, sell, and lease land to members of low to moderate income households, and to public and private developers that will create and promote affordable housing.
Real estate in the CLT would also be available for nonresidential neighborhood development activities that complement affordable housing, such as community health centers, retail shopping, and day care. Funding for the CLT will come from revenue generated from the selling and leasing of CLT-owned property. Currently, there are only two CLTs in the entire state, and advocates believe the legislation will encourage local and regional jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations to create additional land trusts.
The bill received broad bipartisan support thanks to the leadership of State Representatives Alan Clemmons (R) and James Smith (D). As the bill moves to the Senate, AHCSC will work with a bipartisan group to seek passage of the legislation. While the legislature is out of session, AHCSC is educating state housing leaders about the benefits of CLTs. AHCSC co-hosted a seminar that brought together 75 participants from various parts of the state to learn more about the role of CLTs in creating and preserving affordable housing and local jobs.
AHCSC members also act as advisors to South Carolina’s State Housing Finance and Development Authority. “Our members are able to present information and offer examples of the best practices from communities across the state,” says Alisa Mosley, Executive Director of AHCSC. “Our goal is to ensure that public officials and those within the housing industry are well-informed about the various opportunities to better serve and address the needs of households with low income.”
AHCSC has made “significant breakthroughs with legislators and community members who believe that just ‘affordable housing’ does not serve their community,” said Ms. Mosley. “We want to show that affordable and workforce housing are one and the same.”
For more information, contact Alisa Mosley, Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina, at firstname.lastname@example.org