GREENVILLE CO, SC (WSPA) – Wednesday, Greenville city residents attended a presentation called “Affordable Housing and Gentrification in Greenville: The Role of the Black Church”.
Community leader, Jalen Elrod, said gentrification has brought major issues to Greenville for several years.
Together Elrod and Susan Mclarty, of the Greenville Homeless Alliance, gave a presentation on the negative effects of gentrification and the need for affordable housing around 6 p.m. at Nicholtown Missionary Baptist Church.
In 2017, Greenville ranked four in fastest growing cities in America. Although this positively impacts the economy, those looking for low income housing are finding less and less options. Elrod said as new buildings are going up, people with more money are moving in and it’s shoving people who can’t afford them out.
Elrod and Mclarty used the event to explain how gentrification affects the community. They covered what gentrification means for the future of certain neighborhoods with affordable housing. Also, they covered why the community can’t wait for local government to fix it.
“I want people to feel inspired. I want people to know what is going on in a pure sense. They should know that it’s just not something they have to sit back and take. They can organize, they can galvanism. They can fight this,” Elrod said.
Greenville Community Development Administrator, Ginny Stroud, noted that affordable housing is an issue that must be tackled head on. Yet, she disagreed that it’s solely up to local communities to tackle the issue.
“Affordable housing is a very complex issue. It’s an issue, that the city by itself, cannot solve. It’s an issue, that the county by itself, cannot solve. It’s gonna require a community response. I would encourage those folks who want to partner with us, to join hands and let’s address this issue together as a community.” Stroud said.
Stroud said the city has helped numerous families find affordable housing. Specifically in West Greenville Stroud said the city offered:
- 213 homeowners used the Homeowner Rehab Program
- 57 first time home buyers used Homebuyer Assistance Program
- 355 affordable income rental units were built
Both Stroud and Elrod said affordable housing isn’t something that can be fixed overnight. Only time will tell how Greenville residents handle this big issue.