Tuesday, February 8, 2022— Greenville Housing Fund (GHF) today introduced an important new tool, the GHF Impact Fund, to jumpstart financing for the development and preservation of sorely-needed affordable and workforce housing in Greenville. GHF will manage and deploy the $4 million pool of funds, which was formed with capital contributed by 16 local private-sector investors.
Like many communities across the nation, Greenville County is facing an extreme housing shortage, along with skyrocketing rents and home-sales prices. A 2020 study by GHF showed that as many as 45% of renters in Greenville County are “housing cost-burdened,” meaning that over 30% of household income is required to cover housing expenses. Three local studies over the past four years have confirmed that over 13,000 new and preserved units of housing will be required over the next decade to meet the demand across the county.
Bryan Brown, GHF’s President and CEO, described the new Impact Fund as “catalytic” in its ability to leverage both private-sector financing and public investment for new housing, and unique in its composition. “This broad set of investors – including businesses, foundations and private individuals – demonstrates the deep community support for GHF’s mission: they see the need, and they value the goal of ensuring that Greenville can offer a healthy supply of high-quality housing options, affordable to every household working to find a safe and stable home.”
Lead investors include United Bank, Southern First Bank, the Jolley Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and multiple individual private investors, in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Greenville’s Donor-Advised Fund program. Jim Boyd, Market President for lead investor United Bank, said, “Commitment to our communities is at the heart of United Bank’s culture. Working with the GHF Impact Fund allows us to make a much-needed impact to the growing affordable housing issue in Greenville County. We are proud to be among the first investors to commit our support to the fund and hope other financial institutions and businesses will join us in addressing this important issue.”
Bob Morris, President of the Community Foundation of Greenville, stated, “Many of our donors would like their charitable contributions to be used in an active manner, addressing urgent concerns like Greenville’s affordable housing crisis. The GHF Impact Fund provides an opportunity for those contributions to be invested directly, for immediate and visible impact, then returned and re-deployed into future philanthropic efforts.”
Diane Smock, a former Greenville City Council member and current member of the GHF Board of Directors, invested personally in the GHF Impact Fund through a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation because of her belief that “to meet the growing demand for more affordable housing stock in Greenville, we need to be more creative in finding new sources of financing. The GHF Impact Fund is a vital additional resource and offers a new way that individuals can participate easily and directly in addressing this tremendous community-wide need.”
Greenville Housing Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing a future of thriving and affordable neighborhoods across Greenville’s diverse communities. Through lending, investing, advocacy, and land-banking, GHF works with community stakeholders, developers, municipalities, and many other partners to preserve and increase the supply of safe, accessible, high-quality, affordable housing for all citizens of Greenville County. GHF has had a hand in creating over 500 units of affordable housing and preserving another 400 units over the past three years, with another 1,000 units in the pipeline to become available on the market within the next few years.