New Affordable Housing on Daniel Island
The long-held dream of providing substantial affordable housing for Daniel Island in town became reality December 7, 2006, with the official dedication of Humanities Foundation's Seven Farms Apartments.
Affordable housing on Daniel Island has been controversial since the Charleston City Council approved a general outline of the Affordable Housing Plan on October 30, 2001, "over the objections of petition-wielding residents who questioned both the concept and the details of the plan," according to a Charleston Post & Courier story.
The Mayor said affordable housing can and should blend seamlessly within a community. He said Seven Farms Apartments could be a symbol to the rest of the country of how to build beautiful, community-nourishing affordable housing.Therefore, on Thursday, December 7, 2006, speaking to the crowd of nearly 200, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., commented on the collaborative effort, saying, "Together, we’ve put together something very special. You’re looking at a beautiful structure, and just look at where it is located—in the heart of the town, across from churches, down the street from a beautiful new public school, next to a preschool, and near wonderful parks and playgrounds. Seven Farms Apartments will set a wonderful example for the rest of our country in showing how affordable housing can be an integral part of any community."
Other dignitaries participating included William Dudley Gregorie, Columbia Field Office Director, Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Dr. Eugene Laurent, director, S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority. Noted iron work artisan Philip Simmons, who was born and raised on Daniel Island, attended the ceremony and was honored by Humanities Foundation when Tracy Doran, president of the organization and co-founder, announced that the community center will be named in his honor.
"This is an exciting day for our area and the future of affordable housing," commented Doran. "We hope this model may serve as an example for other areas trying to make housing more accessible and affordable for hard working individuals who are struggling against the high cost of today’s housing market."
The Daniel Island Company President Matt Sloan said affordable housing was part of the original community master plan he helped create in 1992. "This is a pretty big deal for our company," Sloan said. "It was a long road to get this development built and integrated into the community."
Located at 305 Seven Farms Drive in the heart of the Daniel Island business and residential community, the complex features one-, two- and three-bedroom fully equipped apartments and common areas including a computer center, playground and covered picnic area.
The invocation and dedication were offered by the Very Reverend John B. Burwell, rector of The Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island, and Dr. Don Flowers, Jr., pastor of Providence Baptist Church on Daniel Island. Guests and island residents were treated to a performance by the Daniel Island School choir and were offered tours of a newly completed apartment and the community center. Some prospective residents learned while on site that their applications had been approved and they would soon be calling Seven Farms Apartments home.
Daniel Island Community Fund also was thanked for their grant to offer a variety of programs and services to the residents of Seven Farms Apartments. The programs, which will include financial and credit counseling for adults and after school and mentoring programs for children, will take place in the complex community center, designed and furnished by Daniel Island Design.
Humanities Foundation obtained funding for Seven Farms Apartments through a variety of sources, including the federal low-income housing tax credit program and state HOME funding. Other sources of funding include the City of Charleston, the Lowcountry Housing Trust, First Federal, The Richman Group, NBSC and the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors.
Since its founding in 1992, Humanities Foundation® has been a leader in addressing the affordable housing crisis. In addition to its primary mission to develop affordable housing units, it also provides a range of services for residents and in the community that serve to alleviate problems associated with homelessness and affordable housing. The foundation has developed over 720 rental units of affordable housing—with another 72 units under construction and 72 units in pre-development—providing homes for more than 1,100 low- to moderate-income families, including those with special needs such as the disabled, single mothers and senior citizens.
For more information about Humanities Foundation, please visit http://www.humanitiesfoundation.org.
( Posted on http://archives.hud.gov/ )