Our Mission is to improve the quality of life for Columbia's citizens by providing economic, housing, and social opportunities.
We are the fuel supporting the local economy by providing resources and opportunities for growth. Community Development administers federal, state and local funding and ensures compliance. Community Development programs increase homeownership and build neighborhood capacity through excellent customer service. Partnerships with banks, neighborhood and organizations allow us to improve the quality of life and continue to make Columbia a World-Class City.
(P.E.A.R. Program) Property Enhancement Assistance for Rental Program
Effective July 2015, the Property Enhancement Assistance for Rental Housing Program (P.E.A.R.) has commenced. Owners of single family rental properties throughout the City of Columbia’s targeted areas (as identified in the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan) are eligible to apply for financing under the program.
The purpose of the program is to uplift the community. The mission is to improve the affordable housing stock by creating decent and affordable rental housing. Through the rehabilitation of existing structures currently in disrepair, we will not only increase decent affordable rental housing, but also decrease blight in these communities.
Maximum loan amounts up to $50,000 per unit are available to assist with costs of needed repairs. Program and financing guidelines for the P.E.A.R. program can be found online at: P.E.A.R.Brochure
A map of the eligible targeted areas is available at http://www.columbiasc.net/community-development/federal-entitlement-compliance
There are no income limit requirements for investors, and applicants must qualify to participate in the P.E.A.R. program. After repairs are completed, the rehabilitated property must be occupied by persons with gross Household Incomes that do not exceed 80% of the Average Median Income according to current HUD Income Limits.
Program benefits include technical assistance provided by our experienced Residential Contract Estimator who will assist with the scope of work development and monitor construction progress. Other benefits include, a 3% fixed interest rate with a 30 year loan term, and owners are only required to invest 10% of the total rehab cost. The maximum LTV is 90%. This loan must be in the 1st or 2nd lien position.
All pre-1978 housing must meet federal funding source guidelines as it relates to addressing lead-based paint hazards. Owners must adhere to City Of Columbia monitoring guidelines as long as the City holds a mortgage. All repairs must be approved by the City Of Columbia. In order to be eligible for the program, owners must rehabilitate the property to code and program requirements, which include lead abatement and energy efficient measures. Therefore, the cost of required repairs under the program may exceed the maximum loan amount.
The Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) is designed to stabilize property values and prevent future foreclosures for existing property owners in strategically targeted areas through the removal of blighted structures.
NIP will assist communities by acting as a catalyst to stimulate redevelopment and revitalization in areas suffering from blight and decline, stabilizing values and assisting in the the preservation of existing neighborhoods. NIP is a joint venture between of the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority and the SC Housing Corp. (SCHC), a not-for-profit corporation. NIP is made possible by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The City of Columbia, (the lead entity) along with Columbia Development Corporation, Columbia Housing Development Corporation and Eau Claire Development was awarded $5.315 million, to combat blighted properties. An agreement was signed between the City, Partnering Organizations and the SCHC on May 01, 2015. Funding must be expended by June 30, 2017.
Targeted properties will be purchased by the three non-profits and existing structures will be removed. Afterward, the property will be maintained for a period of at least three years unless redevelopment opportunities arise. Each property may only receive $35,000 of NIP funding through all phases of the process, and properties must be located within the approved NIP Target Area.
The City of Columbia and its Partners have worked to identify over 110 properties for purchase and demolition/clearance in eight communities.
In addition the previously HUD-approved Empowerment Zone area - comprised of contiguous Census Tracts 2, 5, 9-10, 13-16, 18, 20.02, 28, 106, and 109 - was established as a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) for the term of the Consolidated Plan to ensure continued revitalization and community development efforts.