[image-1]Charleston’s lack of affordable housing has been a topic of heated debate recently as city officials and developers grapple over how best to accommodate locals being priced out of their own community. But how does the local affordable housing supply — or lack thereof — compare to the rest of the Lowcountry, South Carolina, or the nation as a whole?

Compiling data from the U.S. Census and Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Urban Institute based in Washington, D.C. has recently updated a nationwide map showing how counties across the country stack up when it comes to affordable housing. According to the Urban Institute, Charleston County currently averages around 47 affordable units for every 100 extremely low-income rental households. Without federal assistance, this number drops to 21.

For 2014, extremely low-income households of four earned $23,850 or less annually. In this most recent estimate, it is projected that more than 15,700 extremely low-income families or individuals call Charleston County home.

With an estimated 47 affordable units per 100 low-income renters, Charleston County ranks slightly above the national average for affordable housing between the years of 2010-2014. Comparing the entire Tricounty area, Charleston County sits in the middle between Berkeley and Dorchester counties. Dorchester County ranked above the national average between 2010-2014, with 51 affordable units 100 extremely low-income families. Berkeley County faired worse, with only 35 units per 100 households in need.

To view the map and see how Charleston County compares to the rest of the nation, visit the Urban Institute’s website.

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