South Carolina Editorial Summary: Saturday, January 15, 2022
Post and courier
As a housing innovator retires, Charleston must keep innovating
Charleston’s housing crisis is worse than ever, by some measures, as more and more workers in the city (and the region) find it increasingly difficult to find a decent place to live near their location. of work. But the situation is nowhere near as bad as it could be without the aggressive and innovative work being done by the Charleston Housing Authority.
This work is worth remembering as the authority’s longtime CEO Don Cameron retires and COO Arthur Milligan takes on the lead role of the Autonomous City agency. (Its board of directors is appointed by city council, but it operates independently of city hall.) Mr. Milligan’s challenge – and the challenge faced by the board of directors, operating staff and partners – will continue to think outside the box and find new ways to provide safer and more affordable places to live.
During his 46-year tenure, Cameron worked with then-mayor Joe Riley and others to expand the housing authority’s efforts beyond managing the roughly 1,400 housing units. vehicles built with the help of the federal government as well as 1,600 vouchers financed by article 8, financed by the federal government. allow tenants to rent a private house or apartment that they could not otherwise afford. In other words, Mr. Cameron didn’t just manage what was on his plate; he found a much bigger plate and handled everything on that as well.
An example of this innovation was the Authority’s acquisition and operation of the historic William Enston House on Upper King Street, which not only ensured it remained affordable, but also made it more affordable. also expanded with new brick townhouses that complemented those from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This design sensibility has also led to one of the city’s greatest achievements: its scattered housing in which new social housing has been built in the middle of the historic peninsula. These units not only looked a lot like their much older neighboring homes, but they also helped diversify neighborhoods based on income. And they’ve won the most prestigious design awards from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Institute of Architects.
But the housing authority’s best shot has been its efforts to buy rental properties across town – when their owners were ready to sell – to make sure units remain affordable and don’t get razed and gentrified in some way. more expensive thing. The authority rents these units at below market rates while earning enough revenue to cover its costs, plus a little for other affordable housing work. It currently has nearly 950 of these workforce housing apartments.
The authority owned approximately 1,100 low-income tenant apartments when Mr. Cameron started working in 1975; Today, it owns 1,407, administers 1,593 housing vouchers that tenants use to pay rent elsewhere, and has 1,315 other labor and specialist units, according to a recent story from the Post reporter. and Courier, David Slade. Last year, about one in 14 households in Charleston benefited directly from the authority, either through their government-owned housing, vouchers, or authority-owned housing.
It’s a lot to deal with, but as State Representative Wendell Gilliard told Mr. Slade, âThe reason Don was so visionary was that he was in touch with the residents and kept his ears in touch. ground.” Mr. Milligan and other authority leaders must maintain the confidence of residents as they embark on plans to renovate or replace the authority’s 1,407 existing public housing units. Some will be renovated, but many are expected to be demolished and replaced with taller, denser buildings that could add around 1,200 to 1,500 additional apartments for people on low incomes.
Charleston has seen just how badly housing authorities can go: The Charleston County Housing Authority has lacked consistent and stable guidelines in recent years, a major reason it is struggling with overdue repairs to its Joseph Floyd complex. Manor. Leadership matters, especially at the top of a government entity with a key role to play in addressing one of the region’s great challenges. The Charleston Housing Authority got it – and must keep it.
Times and Democrat
Promote food security on the farm
The pandemic has placed a great deal of emphasis on personal protection through cleanliness and sanitation. The business world has felt the effects, both for the protection of employees and consumers.
The United States’ food supply has always been among the safest in the world, but more can be done.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture announced the on-farm improvement cost-sharing program. With funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant administered by CSAE, farmers covered by the Produce Safety Rule can receive reimbursements of up to $ 2,000 per year per farm for on-farm food safety improvements. .
Examples of improvements that may be eligible for funding include hand washing stations, worker training resources, and collection bins. These measures help farms reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses in the fruits and vegetables they grow.
According to SCDA, its product safety team recognizes that many South Carolina farms identify the improvements needed but lack the money to implement the changes. This program is designed to help farms make these improvements and comply with the requirements of the Federal Product Safety Rule.
“I hope South Carolina’s produce producers explore this opportunity to improve their food safety protections,” said South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers. “These cost-shared grants are a great use of taxpayer funds, as they support farms that already demonstrate a commitment to food security.”
Funds are available on a first come, first served basis until exhaustion. The deadline for requesting reimbursement of the cost share is August 1. Visit agriculture.sc.gov/grants to download the application, request an on-farm assessment, and learn more about next steps.
In a major agricultural area such as the T&D region, traditional crops continue to play an important role in the economy. But specialty crops, especially fruits and vegetables, are more important than ever.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture has allocated more than $ 600,000 from the 2021 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program to 12 projects aimed at increasing the competitiveness of specialty crops in the state. Projects funded include research to improve strawberry, watermelon and peach crops, and packaging for fruit and vegetable growers.
Grants to promote food safety are a logical and necessary extension of SCDA’s efforts. Farmers should take advantage of available funds to make improvements.
Take a look at COVID-19 (or is it a virus spike?)
Who knows what’s next? No one has said that humanity can wipe out the coronavirus completely – or any virus for that matter – but in case you haven’t noticed, cases are on the rise again.
And in case you haven’t heard, despite the fact that people can contract the virus after not just one, but two vaccines, plus a booster, the vaccine still seems to be the best way to avoid COVID-19. or, at least, be less sick than if you had not been vaccinated.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re still close to having vaccinated only half of all eligible Southern Carolinians.
So, what’s to pack here?
Well, we’re inclined to think that if more South Carolinians were fully vaccinated, the number of COVID-19 cases would not continue the upward trend the state is currently witnessing.
It would also mean something else, namely that our hospitals could take care of more people who have other illnesses requiring hospitalization.
Yes, that’s why we have hospitals – to treat the sick. We are tackling it, knowing that we are not medical experts, but we suspect that many of them would not have obscured the doors of our hospitals if they had rolled up their sleeves and obtained the protection that medical science their offer.