SC Housing Newsletter

January/February 2022

New emergency housing directors join the ranks of SC Housing

New emergency housing directors join the ranks of SC Housing

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far reaching impacts on families struggling to stay safely in their homes. In response, SC Housing has taken the bold move of establishing an emergency housing division to support renters and homeowners alike by adding the following experienced leaders to its team.

Larry Huff joined the agency in December 2021 as emergency housing director, where he oversees SC Housing’s federally funded emergency housing programs, including the SC Stay Plus rental/utility assistance program that opened in May 2021 and the soon-to-open SC Mortgage Rescue Program. Prior to serving as emergency housing director, Larry was a staffer on the Committee on Children, Youth, and Families in the U.S House of Representatives, and served the senior staff of former S.C. Gov. David Beasley. He was also previously the vice president of corporate communications for IMI Worldwide Properties and was principal of his own communications firm for 12 years, serving clients ranging from nonprofits and health care providers to industrial contractors and investment banking firms.

Roberta Whitner joined the agency in December 2021 as assistant emergency housing director, where her focus is assisting South Carolinians experiencing financial hardship and housing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Prior to joining SC Housing, Roberta served as the manager of real estate programming for the City of Charlotte focusing on leveraging city-owned land for the expansion and sustainability of affordable housing.

“Adding Larry and Roberta to our SC Housing team will strengthen our agency and allow us to continue the great work of keeping people safely in their homes during the prolonged economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bonita Shropshire, executive director of SC Housing.

As of Jan. 27, 2022, nearly $130 million had been distributed to tenants, landlords and utility companies on behalf of SC Stay Plus applicants.

Mother of 3 able to avoid eviction thanks to SC Stay Plus program

Mother of 3 able to avoid eviction thanks to SC Stay Plus program

In the midst of the pandemic, mother-of-three Akira Johnson fell into uncertain times. When lockdown hit, her cosmetology business closed for a year, leaving her with no income and preventing her from doing what she loves.

Akira applied for unemployment and relied on the eviction moratorium to stay in her home. In February 2021, her unemployment ended and her business slowly reopened. However, she still had no steady income and struggled with not knowing how she could provide for her family.

She applied for rental assistance through the SC Stay and SC Stay Plus programs in early 2021. Originally, she faced a roadblock waiting on her landlord to provide documentation to support her application.

But when the SC Stay Plus rental/utility assistance program made changes to its program, Akira was able to apply for direct tenant support – without her landlord’s participation.

“Having SC Stay Plus there to trust in the people of South Carolina was a very important change, a change that helped many, many people,” she said.

In August, when the eviction moratorium ended, her apartment complex immediately filed for eviction. Akira was uncertain going into court, but felt that SC Stay Plus “stepped up on her behalf” and allowed her family to stay in their home.

When Akira received her check, she immediately signed it over to her apartment complex. The complex waived various fees, leaving her with a credit and a greater feeling of security.

“Being able to go home to my children and know that we were good was just the best feeling,” she said. “It took a lot of weight off of my shoulders.”

Record funding helps 1,500 buy homes despite higher prices

Record funding helps 1,500 buy homes despite higher prices

The rapidly growing home prices throughout 2021 were great news for South Carolina residents who were looking to sell their homes or cash equity out of their homes.

But for those individuals and families looking to purchase homes – especially for the first time – the higher prices were not so encouraging.

To continue its mission of helping South Carolina families build wealth through homeownership, SC Housing invested a record amount last year in supportive programs and down payment assistance for homebuyers.

In total, SC Housing invested more than $290 million in single-family homeownership in 2021, providing:

  • New homeownership opportunities for 1,562 families
  • $277.3 million in total first mortgages
  • $12.7 million in down payment assistance

“While the large numbers are great and show an incredible commitment from our agency to helping South Carolina families build wealth through homeownership, there is another number I’m equally proud of,” said Steve Clements, director of homeownership programs at SC Housing. “More than two-thirds (68%) of our investment went to low-income families whose income falls below 80% of area median. That really shows you the impact we can have on working class South Carolinians.”

One of SC Housing’s flagship programs, the Palmetto Heroes initiative for community heroes – including teachers, police, firefighters, emergency services personnel, medical personnel and members of the military – invested nearly $3.2 million in down payment assistance alone in 2021. That helped more than 270 buyers purchase homes totaling more than $50 million.

Learn more about the programs available to homebuyers in South Carolina on the SC Housing website.

New Greenville apartments open with help of tax credits

New Greenville apartments open with help of tax credits

A new affordable housing community opened recently in Greenville – with the help of SC Housing.

A ribbon-cutting was held Nov. 30 for Renaissance Place Apartments, a 57-unit development for seniors aged 55 and older located at 1250 N. Pleasantburg Drive. Kim Wilbourne, manager of SC Housing’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, delivered remarks at the event.

The developer, a South Carolina-based property management and development firm NHE Inc., was recently awarded SC Housing’s 2021 Development Partner of the Year.

Renaissance Place offers 1- and 2-bedroom apartments ranging from 749 to 1,077 square feet. Each unit offers high ceilings, wooden cabinets, laminate countertops and vinyl tile flooring, as well as Energy Star appliances including a refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, garbage disposal and dishwasher. HVAC systems, lighting and fans come standard, as do washer-dryer hookups and prewiring for cable and internet.

Community amenities include a community room with a kitchenette for resident functions, a fully-equipped computer lab, a laundry center, fitness center, library, walking trails and an outdoor gazebo. For more information, visit the Renaissance Place page on NHE’s website.

For more information about tax credit properties that will be opening in the future, please view our full listing of LIHTC properties approved between 1988 and 2021.

Hundreds attend SC Housing’s 50th anniversary celebration

Hundreds attend SC Housing’s 50th anniversary celebration

SC Housing celebrated in early December a milestone achievement: 50 years of providing opportunities for safe, decent and affordable housing to South Carolinians.

The anniversary was marked with a virtual event that included a keynote address from inspirational speaker Chris Singleton, touching stories from South Carolina residents whose lives have been impacted by SC Housing programs, a look back at the agency’s history through a discussion with U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn, and SC Housing’s annual Achievement Awards. The event’s host was local radio and TV host Cynthia Pryor Hardy (left, above).

While the event is over, we are going to be sharing many of the videos and stories throughout the year, including:

  • Well-wishes on our anniversary from a number of elected officials, partners, customers and clients (including Gov. Henry McMaster);
  • A conversation with U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn and our Executive Director Bonita Shropshire about the origins of the state housing agency and the importance of affordable housing today;
  • Our 50th anniversary timeline on our history page at; and
  • The inspiring keynote address from Chris Singleton, an author and former pro baseball player who lost his mother in the Emanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston.

SC Housing uses #TestimonialTuesday to highlight successes

More than 13,000 South Carolina families have remained safely in their homes thanks to millions of dollars in federal assistance through the SC Stay Plus program.

And during the process, many of those families have taken a moment to share the difference that the program has made in their lives.

Please follow our social media channels each week with #TestimonialTuesday to view these testimonies You can find the posts weekly on SC Housing’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram channels.

If you or someone you know would like to contribute a testimonial or share your experience with the program, you can email us at

Interested in a career in affordable housing?

Interested in a career in affordable housing?

Are you a hard-working and dedicated individual who would like to help
SC Housing accomplish its mission of ensuring all South Carolinians have access to safe, decent and affordable housing?

Learn more about available positions at SC Housing by visiting our job board to learn what opportunities may be right for you.

Connect With Us

Connect with Us @SCStateHousing

Are you interested in updates on our programs? Would you like to receive information on the latest breaking housing news and trends? Click the icons below to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn, and be sure to like our page!

Our Mission is to create quality affordable housing opportunities for the citizens of South Carolina.

SC Housing Logo