“How can the North Central neighborhood of Charleston improve without displacing long-time residents?”
Client: Historic Charleston Foundation
Team Members: Rob Krupicka, Charles Buki, Karen Beck Pooley, Andrea Weinberg, Peter Lombardi
Services: Housing Analysis, Facilitation Services, Report Creation
The North Central Neighborhood of Charleston is a historically African-American neighborhood of 5,000 residents on the rapidly gentrifying Charleston peninsula. In 2014, the Historic Charleston Foundation hired czb to review its Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative for this neighborhood.
Our analysis clarified housing market strength in different subareas within North Central, highlighted areas in need of significant investment and housing upgrades, and showed how these needs aligned with Foundation programs.
Through field surveys of about 6,000 structures, analysis of residential sales and wage data, and input from community forums, czb was able to tease out the interplay between housing investments in the neighborhood and housing price appreciation that threatened to displace longtime and lower-income renters and homeowners in the neighborhood.
Our final report presented a unique blend of analysis and strategy that examined housing affordability in the context of both neighborhood development and equity. The plan suggested coupling any increased preservation or home repair activities with long-term affordability strategies for the neighborhood, including developing a community land trust in North Central with support from the City of Charleston and area non-profits.
The Historic Charleston Foundation is working with local partners to move forward with a Community Land Trust in the North Central neighborhood, based on czb's final recommendations.
Charleston holds Mayor’s Forum on Affordability to discuss city-wide steps for increasing home affordability. Charles Buki from czb moderates the conversation with key city leaders.