North Charleston Housing (NCHA) public housing program consisting of 671 units began in 1984, with the acquisition of North Park Village, formerly George Legare Homes and the opening of the newly built Three Oaks, Liberty Hill Place and Buskirk Street Housing for the Elderly. Since then, the public housing program has embarked on a number of extraordinary initiatives, all directed to enhance the quality of affordable housing for residents living in our public housing communities. Although considered a newcomer to the public housing industry, NCHA has established itself as an innovator, providing unique opportunities in this housing market.
The North Charleston Housing Authority is changing the nature and perception of affordable housing by offering and facilitating quality homes and a quality community for the City of North Charleston.
In November of 2001, under the leadership of Executive Director George Saldana, NCHA received a $35 million Hope VI Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to revitalize the 533 units at North Park Village, the largest public housing site in South Carolina. This exciting initiative will result in public/private partnerships that will replace the existing community with a unique mix of family, elderly and market rate rental units; as well as, single family home sites. In addition to revitalizing the community, this venture will stimulate economic development to the surrounding communities and provide supportive services, such as childcare, transportation, job training, and educational opportunities to residents.
A crucial component of the Hope VI Grant is the conversion of the 68 public housing units at the former Three Oaks development to homeownership housing stock. To add new life to the change-taking place there, the community has been renamed to Oakleaf Estates. These public housing units are being renovated and will be sold to NCHA public housing residents and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher beneficiaries through a Lease Purchase Program. Again, this effort offers an additional pool of affordable housing for the citizens of North Charleston and proceeds from the sale of the units will be used to fund future affordable housing initiatives.
Although the units at Liberty Hill Place are not quite twenty years old, these units are currently undergoing complete renovation. The work being done consists of the replacement of flooring, the installation HVAC system, and new cabinetry. Also, an additional full bathroom is being added to the three and four bedroom units. NCHA is committed to maintaining public housing units that are modern, funtional and efficient.
Currently, there is a marked reduction in the number of available public housing rental units available; therefore, applications are not being accepted. However, over the next two to three years, NCHA will re-open the waiting list and begin to phase in new housing stock.