The Historic Charleston Foundation will host a public meeting to discuss housing affordability in the area tonight at 6 p.m. at the Charleston Museum. Mayor John Tecklenburg and local banking, nonprofit, and housing officials are expected to be on hand for what the group expects will be a “provocative forum.”

The median price of homes in the upper peninsula area of downtown reportedly went up 60% from 2011-2015, according to Post and Courier analysis of realtor data. Since 1975, the paper reports, the demographic makeup of downtown residents has shifted from majority-African American to less than 40% black. General opposition to infill developments and high rents in new complexes downtown have exacerbated the issue, local Housing Authority leaders say.

The Historic Charleston Foundation says that unchecked rising downtown home prices threaten to “alter the character of many of the neighborhoods on the peninsula.” Especially at risk, the group says, are the remaining low- and middle-income residents who still live downtown. Other areas of town have also seen significant home price increases between 2011-2015: +49.9% on James Island, +45.3% in North Charleston, +32.5% in West Ashley.

Cover photo by Flickr user digallagher.

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