A budget recommendation could put millions of dollars toward two issues that have been plaguing some people in Greenville: affordable housing and public transportation.
Monday night, the Committee on Finance and Development recommended spending $6 million contingency funds. About half of that would bolster affordable housing and public transportation.
$1.4 million would go to the Greenville Housing Fund.
“The Greenville Housing Fund was established about a year ago, and has a mission of increasing the amount of affordable units in the city and the county of Greenville,” said Bogue Wallin, who is the chairman of the board of the fund.
It’s a big undertaking. According to Wallin, recent studies show the number of affordable places needed for people to live in Greenville County is roughly 11,500, and that number is creeping up.
“Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the challenge is far far greater than that.” Wallin said. “[If] ou were to go out and build 2,500 units, you’d spend in excess of $200 million to do that.”
He said the $1.4 million is still very important.
Another $1.1 million would go to public transportation. That money would leverage $2.75 million in state and federal money. Those funds would be used to extend the lives of 12 existing Greenlink buses and buy several more vehicles, including two more diesel buses, three smaller cutaway buses, and two environmentally friendly electric buses.
“It’ll help us replenish the fleet we have,” said Gary Shepard, who is the director of Greenlink.
However, he said it won’t help them run longer hours or more frequently.
“This helps us,” Shepard said. “But we can do better. We want to do better.”
City council members are aware of the issues with affordable housing and public transportation.
“We were trying to identify priority areas,” said City Councilman George Fletcher.
The rest of the money would be divided among neighborhoods and planning, economic development leverage, and city hall repairs.
City Council will vote on the recommendation Monday.