Officials to address region's affordable housing needs

The Charleston market needs to build more affordably-priced homes, local housing officials say.

Local officials will come together this week to discuss ways to increase the affordable housing stock in the Lowcountry.

The event, "Housing Matters: A Tri-County Housing Summit," is being held Friday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Trident Technical College in North Charleston. The S.C. Community Loan Fund is organizing the forum.

In addition to affordablity, the free event is expected to broach other issues such as access to transportation. The "Coming Up" calendar on page D2 has registration details.

This is the second summit with the goal of creating a regional plan that would combine private and public resources to attack the afforability problem.

The first meeting was held last year, coming on the heels of a scorecard report that ranked the Charleston region last in affordable housing compared to similar-size metro areas such as Savannah and Greenville.

Friday's event comes on the heels of more news about the need for more affordable housing. The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Housing Needs Assessment study concluded that thousands in the region spend an inordinately large amount of their incomes on keeping a roof over their heads. The nine-page report also found that workers such as firefighters, teachers, police officers, waitresses and administrative personnel have trouble purchasing or renting housing in the region.

Going up

Home prices in the Charleston area increased by 8.1 percent in April compared to the same month in 2013, according to a new report by real estate information firm CoreLogic.

That was slower than the state and national averages, which increased 10 percent and 10.5 percent respectively, CoreLogic said.

The rising prices are tied to a drop in the number of homes that are for sale, said Anand Nallathambi, the firm's CEO.

"Home prices are continuing to rise as we head into the summer months," he said. "The purchase market continues to suffer from a dearth of inventory which we expect will continue to drive prices up over the year."

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