Ideas sought for Beaufort affordable housing

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Ideas sought for Beaufort affordable housing

By ERIN MOODY
emoody@beaufortgazette.com
Published Tuesday, January 3, 2012   |  309 Words  |  

A nonprofit organization working with the city of Beaufort and town of Port Royal to provide affordable housing seeks people, businesses and organizations to participate in the program.

The Lowcountry Housing Trust will hold a meeting at 3 p.m. Jan 10 at Beaufort City Hall to solicit ideas for meeting housing needs in northern Beaufort County. Beaufort, Port Royal and the Beaufort Redevelopment Commission are participating sponsors.

The public is invited, but officials are most eager to hear from developers, nonprofit groups, banks, Realtors and government officials.

Beaufort and Port Royal agreed to a partnership with the Lowcountry Housing Trust in the fall and have attempted to gauge interest in projects since then.

The towns have agreed to put a combined $135,000 annually toward the venture. About $35,000 will be used for a local office and an employee; the rest will be used to leverage state and federal grants that require matching dollars.

Developers apply for low-interest loans, usually for startup costs, and as loans are paid back, the trust makes more loans, executive director Michelle Mapp said.

Beaufort officials have pondered what to do with a city-owned lot of about an acre at 1403 Lafayette St. The city's Redevelopment Commission seeks a private developer as a partner for an affordable housing project for middle-class residents.

The Lowcountry Housing Trust targets people earning up to 120 percent of Beaufort County's median income.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.

Related Content:

Beaufort, Port Royal affordable housing venture advances, Sept. 16, 2011

Beaufort council to retain control of Lafayette Street plot, Dec. 6, 2011