GREENVILLE, SC – A new housing problem is on the rise for those trying to find an affordable place to live in Greenville.
According to the Greenville Housing Authority, the number of property owners who typically rent out to affordable housing organizations has been dwindling over the years.
Landlords have decided they can get more money by renting to people at market price.
“We started to have a number of landlords, for various reasons, decide they no longer want to participate in the voucher program,” said Ivory Mathews, Executive Director of the Greenville Housing Authority.
“Once we started communicating with those landlords, we realized it was because they could command more money on the open market.”
Mathews told 7News on Thursday that between 2014 and 2015, the organization lost 400 units after 20 property owners pulled out of the voucher program.
People, even with vouchers, still could not find a place to live.
The Greenville Housing Authority aids roughly 3,000 families a year with rent.
With a current waiting list of 9,000 people, that’s only 25% of those who desperately need affordable housing.
Dale Smith, a long-time Greenville resident, is considered one of the lucky ones to make it off of the long waiting list.
Smith, an employee at a local hotel, explained he filled out a voucher in April of 2017 and received a call in early August that he had been accepted into a new section 8 housing complex.
7News caught up with him on Thursday afternoon during his move-in.
“I never gave up,” Smith said. “I knew that one day I was going to get it, but I didn’t know when.”
The 62-year-old had been living on-and-off with his mother his entire life.
“I am blessed. I’m thankful to have a beautiful place like this.”