SALUDA – One rural community built apartments for teachers four years ago to help their recruitment and retention efforts.

Read more of our Forgotten South Carolina coverage here.

The Saluda lofts were part of an innovative pilot project that was intended to be a model for school districts across South Carolina. That didn’t happen.

This rural teacher housing project is the only one of its kind in the state, and no one is working to replicate it. The state’s efforts have idled while groups elsewhere in the country, even next door in North Carolina, have pushed forward to tackle this issue.

The lack of suitable rental housing in South Carolina isn’t confined to its rural counties. Charleston County spans 1,000 square miles, and some educators face lengthy commutes to teach on the outskirts, such as McClellanville or Hollywood. And for those who teach in Mount Pleasant, such as those with just a couple years of experience, their $35,000 per year salary isn’t enough to cover the rent for many one-bedroom apartments.

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