HOPE VI – The HOPE VI Program in Columbia, SC

HOPE VI in Columbia, SC

HOPE VI was a funding program by the Federal government through HUD with the goal of improving impoverished areas by rehabilitating them as well as demolishing severely distressed public housing and rebuilding new housing in areas.

The HUD government website explains Hope VI‘s goals as:

  • Capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements
  • Demolition of severely distressed public housing
  • Acquisition of sites for off-site construction
  • Community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts
  • HOPE VI Main Street grants provide assistance to smaller communities in the development of affordable housing that is undertaken in connection with a Main Street revitalization effort.

Although the goal of the project was to provide assistance to the poor after kicking them out of their houses to demolish and rebuild them, and then let them back in after with a higher standard of living, the darker side of the project is that sometimes fewer units would be built than were demolished, effectively displacing and leaving some people without homes.

The project had good intentions, but perhaps more planning was needed in the instances where some people were displaced and left without homes.

HUD funded several Hope VI projects in Columbia, South Carolina through the CHA:

Celia Saxon
CHA constructed Celia Saxon using a HOPE VI grant to fund it in part and finished it Celia Saxon on June 30, 2006. This development took seven years and included a $25.8 million HOPE VI Revitalization Grant for the Saxon Homes community. It was located in the middle of Columbia’s Federal Empowerment Zone.

$3 million of the HOPE VI grant was put to use helping residents become financially self-sufficient or to work toward their own home ownership. The total cost of the Saxon homes community was over $60 million. 89 past residents of Saxon Homes moved back into the new community.

Celia Saxon Community Neighborhood Amenities:

  • Charles R. Drew Wellness Center – $1 million cost for a 40,000 square-foot complex with Columbia’s first new public pool in 50 years, a full gym, running track, weight and cardio area, health room, and meeting areas. Celia Saxon residents get a free one-year membership. CHA oversaw development
  • Cecil A. Tillis Center – job training center with a computer lab, Internet access and homework help
  • Celia Saxon Health Center – Palmetto Health and CHA healthcare center partnership t
  • James E. Clyburn Golf Center – affordable golf learning center to promote character development through golf
  • Drew Park – walking trail, gazebo and playground
  • Free Wireless Internet – one of the first strictly residential Wi-Fi hotspots in Columbia
  • Celia Saxon Center – a 30,000 square-foot retail space for shopping and banking opened in November 2008

T.S. Martin
Construction phase one was finished in 2003. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in combination with CHA’s HOPE VI grant program funded the project of 35 single-family homes built behind W.A. Perry Middle School.

The T.S. Martin project isn’t on the official HUD list because of its low-income tax credit project status that was funded alongside the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority and the CHA’s HOPE VI program.

The community includes 164 rental apartments and townhomes as well as 93 single-family units.

Rosewood Hills

Rosewood Hills location:

Located off Rosewood Drive between Gregg and Superior Streets in downtown Columbia, S.C. Near local attractions, restaurants, shopping, and roads and nearby great public schools.

A $10.7 million HOPE VI Revitalization Grant gave CHA funds to use as part of the cost toward developing 166 units on the past Hendley Homes public housing site and on a few parcels of land nearby that CHA bought to make the community bigger.

It consisted of 60 single-family homes with one and two-stories with 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and range in size from 1,200 to 2,050 square feet. It also includes 32 town homes, 52 senior apartments, and 22 duplex units.

Rosewood Hills unique home features include energy efficient green features, hardi-board siding, architectural shingles, 9-foot ceilings, rear garages and screened rear porches. It also has $6.5 million in public improvements, such as new streets and streetscapes, wide sidewalks, parks, green space, and solar powered Wi-Fi for all residents.

The Rosewood Area:

.6 miles from Williams Bryce Stadium, home of the USC Gamecocks
.5 miles from the State Fair Grounds
1.5 miles from Five Points
2 miles from The Vista
1.5 miles from the University of South Carolina
8 miles from Columbia Metro Airport
2 miles from the Colonial Center
3 miles from the State Museum and EdVenture Children’s Museum
5.5 miles from Riverbanks Zoo
3 miles from I-26
3.5 miles from I-77
8 miles from I-20
Less than 5 miles from 3 area hospitals
Funding Sources

What it took to create:

A $10.7 million HOPE VI Revitalization Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Over $14 million in construction financing from local lenders, homebuilders and the city’s development corporation.
$4.5 million in infrastructure and site improvements from the City of Columbia
Around $6.5 million in below market interest rate mortgages for homebuyers from the City Living Program.

CHA Partners that helped:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
City of Columbia
Wilbur Smith Associates
Mungo Construction
Connelly Builders
McClam & Associates (infrastructure)