SC Housing Newsletter

June/July 2019

Robert D. Mickle, Jr. Assumes Chairmanship of SC Housing Board of Commissioners

Robert D. Mickle, Jr.

Robert D. Mickle, Jr. has been appointed by Governor Henry McMaster as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing).

Mickle’s appointment comes as former Chairman Donald R. Tomlin, Jr. leaves the Board to take over as Chairman of the South Carolina State Workforce Development Board.

Robert D. Mickle, Jr. of Elgin, SC, was first appointed to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Mark Sanford as the Governor’s Designee in April 2004. He has served for seven years as Vice Chairman for the Board as well as chair of the Bond Committee and Program Committee.

A Camden native and graduate of Wofford College, Mr. Mickle is President of Paragon Inc. of South Carolina, a company specializing in residential development, construction, finance and design. Prior to assuming his duties at Paragon, Mr. Mickle served as assistant to the Commissioner for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. He also has extensive experience in banking and finance.

Mickle’s appointment as Chairman now awaits confirmation by the Senate.


SC Housing Celebrates 40 Years of Making Homeownership a Reality

SC Housing Celebrates 40 Years of Making Homeownership a Reality

In 1978, homeownership had become an impossible dream for many across the country and South Carolina was not an exception. The economy was stagnating, interest rates were high and banks were reluctant to loan money to anyone other than those with stellar credit and substantial down payment funds.

The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing) stepped up to ease this crisis with an innovative state lending program for first-time homebuyers. In December 1978, SC Housing issued its first bond series to raise the funds to originate $75M in loans. By early 1979, lenders were using these funds to make affordable mortgage loans to homebuyers throughout the state. 1,900 mortgages were originated in 1979, the first year of the program.

SC Housing continues to offer its lending program for first-time homebuyers and has made homeownership possible for more than 43,000 households. SC Housing is a self-sustaining housing finance agency committed to ensuring that South Carolinians have the opportunity to live in safe, decent, and affordable housing. Agency operations are supported by a funding base that includes fees and other revenue earned through the administration of agency programs.

This marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of SC Housing’s lending program for first-time homebuyers. We are celebrating this anniversary in the month of June, which is also National Homeownership Month and the month in which SC Housing launches its Palmetto Heroes Program to help South Carolina teachers, nurses, firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMS personnel and veterans to become homeowners.


SC Housing Partners with Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta for 2019 Palmetto Heroes Funding

SC Housing Partners with Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta for 2019 Palmetto Heroes Funding

Above: Alexis Robinson, a teacher at A.C. Flora High, purchased her first home with a Palmetto Heroes mortgage loan.

June is National Homeownership Month, and to commemorate the event, SC Housing is pleased to announce the kickoff of the 2019 Palmetto Heroes program. Community service personnel in the areas of law enforcement, corrections, firefighting, emergency medical services, education, health care, and members of the SC Army National Guard, SC Air National Guard and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to apply.

Qualified homebuyers receive a 3.875% fixed mortgage rate and up to $8,000* in down payment assistance. Funding is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Borrowers must have a fully executed sales contract for the purchase of a home prior to locking the interest rate.

To learn more: SCHousing.com/Home/Palmetto-Heroes

*Palmetto Heroes down payment assistance is $6,000. This year, certain participants may also qualify for an additional $2,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta Community Heroes program. Private school teachers, nurses and CNAs, and veterans are excluded. Borrowers must apply for funding through a Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta participating member financial institution.


Martinez Named Director of Development Division

Martinez Named Director of Development Division

Sara Martinez has been named the Director of SC Housing’s Development division.

Sara has been working in the affordable housing arena for more than eight years. She served in a legal capacity at SC Housing for more than three years before relocating to Atlanta, GA, where she briefly worked in private practice prior to joining the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). At DCA, Sara served as a Legal Consultant in their multifamily development division, working with underwriting and compliance staff on multifamily affordable housing developments. She oversaw federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and federal programs such as the HOME Investment Partnership Program and the National Housing Trust Fund. She later served as the Legal Consultant for their single family division. Sara returned to SC Housing in August 2018 as Deputy General Counsel.

A native of Florence, South Carolina, Sara received her Bachelor of Science from Furman University and was awarded her law degree from the University of South Carolina.


New Agency Research Officer Supports Data Needs Statewide

Research Update

New Agency Research Officer Supports Data Needs Statewide

As SC Housing’s Chief Research Officer, Dr. Bryan Grady’s job is to make sure our program staff have the information they need to set the best policies they can for the people of South Carolina. He also serves as a resource for the affordable housing community statewide, because our valued partners often have the same questions that we do. Since arriving, Bryan’s focus has been on producing the new South Carolina Housing Needs Assessment, which will make a plethora of housing information accessible to policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public.

Here are some highlights of housing resources that Bryan finds most useful:

  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition publishes two reports, Out of Reach and The Gap, that translate complicated arithmetic on housing affordability into easy to understand numbers that people can use to get a handle on the scale of the challenge in South Carolina. For example, our state has a shortage of 89,438 rental units that are affordable and available to very low-income households (those earning less than half the area median).
  • Following the publication of his 2016 bestseller Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond founded Eviction Lab, which compiled data from thousands of local courts nationwide into a single source. Unfortunately, it turns out that South Carolina has an eviction rate far beyond any other state in America: 89 per 1,000 renters in 2016. This represents a serious policy challenge for cities and counties across the Palmetto State.
  • Finally, to know what to do to help your community, there are two new places to go. The Next50 Housing report from the Urban Institute provides a comprehensive overview of national best practices for local governments to consider, while Local Housing Solutions from Abt Associates and New York University gives policymakers and advocates toolkits to help them decide what strategies to pursue in their neighborhoods.


Cynthia LaJeunesse

Meet SC Housing's Faces of Home

Cynthia LaJeunesse

Originally from New Jersey, Cindy LaJeunesse is a disabled Housing Choice Voucher recipient who found Sea Pointe Apartments in Beaufort, SC, through SC Housing’s free SCHousingSearch.com apartment location service. Cindy enjoys rescuing homeless animals, and the Housing Tax Credit apartments have beautifully landscaped walking areas for her latest rescue, Cooper; a friendly, seven-year-old Affenpinscher who is now her service animal.


Community Events

Commissioner Gardner

Preserve at Logan Park Groundbreaking

Preserve at Logan Park Groundbreaking

SC Housing's Commissioner, Charles E. Gardner, spoke at the March 19 groundbreaking ceremony for the Preserve at Logan Park in downtown Greenville. Preserve at Logan Park will be the third of three newly constructed developments to replace all affordable senior housing units lost as the result of the implosion of the former Scott Towers Public Housing Community. The 193 unit, $30 million development will consist of the construction of a new 113-unit building for seniors, along with the renovation of the 80 existing units at the Garden Apartments. The development is a partnership project of the Greenville Housing Authority, Integral Group LLC, Citi Community Capital Bank, Boston Financial Investment Management L.P., Community Works Inc., Greenville Housing Fund, City of Greenville, SC Department of Mental Health, SC State Housing Finance & Development Authority, Horton Law Firm, BB&T Bank, Veterans Administration, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Nixon Peabody LLP, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Howell Linkous & Nettles, Cindi Herrera & Associates, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Creative Builders, and the Haynie-Sirrine Neighborhood Association.


Cinnaberry Pointe Apartments Ribbon Cutting

Cinnaberry Pointe Apartments Ribbon Cutting

SC Housing participated in the ribbon cutting for Cinnaberry Pointe Apartments in Irmo, S.C. on May 15. Cinnaberry Pointe is an affordable housing community for adults 55 and older. Units feature two bedrooms and two baths, and applicants must meet specified income requirements for residence. The apartments were developed by Connelly Development using Housing Tax Credit funding from SC Housing.


The Veranda at North Main Grand Opening

The Veranda at North Main Grand Opening

The grand opening ceremony for the Veranda at North Main apartments was held May 31 in Columbia. This facility is a major community and economic development project that received Housing Tax Credit funding from SC Housing. The property contains 58 units with both one and two bedroom homes; offering affordable housing options to seniors in the Columbia area.


SC Housing Senior Leaders Tour Home Restorations in Impacted Disaster Counties

SC Housing Senior Leaders Tour Home Restorations in Impacted Disaster Counties

SC Housing Executive Director, Bonita Shropshire (right), along with her Senior Directors leadership team, joined Ben Duncan (left), Executive Director of the SC Disaster Recovery Office (DRO) and staff in visiting home sites that are being restored in Marion, Clarendon and Williamsburg counties. DRO staff showcased the progress being made to assist homeowners impacted by recent disasters. SC Housing has previously partnered with DRO to help fund housing recovery efforts in distressed areas.


Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta Heroes Kickoff

Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta Heroes Kickoff

SC Housing and Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) Atlanta are partnering their "Heroes" programs this year to offer additional forgivable down payment assistance to qualified applicants. Homebuyers can receive up to $8,000 if they meet the category and lending requirements for both programs. A kickoff meeting for FHLBank Atlanta stockholders was held May 7 in Columbia.

2019 Spring Home Show

Community Development Training Held on Agency Programs and Services

South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) recently hosted members of SC Housing for a day long training program covering all aspects of the functions of the agency business as well as to explore how the 50+ nonprofit members in attendance can work more closely with SC Housing to improve the communities they serve.

SCACED is a coalition of individuals and organizations who support the development of healthy and economically sustainable communities throughout South Carolina. Members work collaboratively to build wealth and create economic opportunity for all SC residents. Efforts are focused on minority communities and other groups who have been left out of the economic mainstream.


June/July Calendar

June/July Calendar
Community Events
July 18 & July 22 SC Housing House Oversight Committee Meetings, Blatt 321
September 30-October 2 Rural Health Conference (SC Office of Rural Health annual event), Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston
October 24-27 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (national conference of city planning academics), Hyatt Regency, Greenville
December 3-4 Investing in Community Summit (SC Community Loan Fund annual event), Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

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