as seen in The Post & Courier
The Hub Aren’t Going Away Who Will Speak for Them
By Steve Bailey email@example.com
The Hub is a relic of the ’50s, built by legendary Charleston developer J.C. Long back in the day when his Beach Co. was known for affordable housing. In the post-war boom, Long built scores of these little cement duplexes on Azalea Drive as short-stay housing for sailors and their families.
Sixty years later and long after Beach sold it off, The Hub is still standing, nothing short of a three-acre, low-rise slum. Even the liquor store is out of business.
The people who live here aren’t welfare queens … Most of his tenants are the working poor, he says, and he has people standing in line for the 160 or so apartments they own in some of North Charleston’s poorest, most violent neighborhoods.
What’s happening in North Charleston is happening all over America. The federal government got out of the business of building public housing two decades ago…
Read the full Post & Courier opinion article by Steve Bailey by clicking the following link.
Founder of BNC Honored Community Service Award
Patty Scarafile, the retired CEO of Carolina One Real Estate Services, was honored by the South Carolina Realtors® Association with the C. Dan Joyner Community Service Award. The award is given annually to members whose values represent the utmost in Realtor® professionalism, compassion, and volunteerism, and is named in honor of the late upstate Realtor® and philanthropist, C. Dan Joyner.
A Realtor® since the mid-seventies, Patty Scarafile understands the importance that housing and home ownership has on a community, and in contrast, what the lack of home ownership can mean. Having retired from day-to-day operations at Carolina One Real Estate, Patty searched for a way to use her skills to help others. That is when Bridge North Charleston was created, with the goal of creating a non-profit partnership between residents, community leaders, business, government, and existing non-profit organizations, united by and committed to a common goal to revitalize an underserved neighborhood into a safe, healthy, racially equitable, vibrant, and sustainable community.
Bridge North Charleston’s specific mission is to facilitate the holistic revitalization of the Hub Village and Accabee neighborhoods in lower North Charleston, SC. The primary focuses of Bridge North Charleston are to provide affordable housing opportunities, and scholarships to Trident Technical College to residents in this under-resourced North Charleston community.
Like she has for years in leading Carolina One Real Estate, Patty rolled up her sleeves and seized an opportunity to affect change by purchasing a parcel of land and donating it, in its entirety, to Bridge North Charleston. Her concept was to use a hub-and-spoke model centered on the construction of twenty condominiums, a mixture of two-and three-bedroom units, on a small tract of vacant property located within the HUB and Accabee neighborhoods near Azalea Drive and Cosgrove Avenue. Her vision is that the new construction would serve as the genesis of revitalization for the neighborhood, not only in housing, but in all basic needs essential to a healthy vibrant community and one that could be replicated in other underserved neighborhoods.
A 1966 graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in English, Patty Scarafile taught at St. Andrews High School before entering a career in real estate. The mother of four children and grandmother to seven, Patty resides in Mt. Pleasant and enjoys reading and traveling. For more information about Bridge North Charleston or to get involved, visit the website www.bridgenorthcharleston.org.
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Racial Disparities in Homeownership Wealth Gap and the Impacts of COVID-19
After Congress had rejected two earlier versions of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, the third version appeared to be going nowhere prior to the April 4th 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was that crystalizing moment and the resulting civil unrest that spread across the country, which led to President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968. It was the first time that Congress declared it illegal for private individuals to discriminate on the basis of race in the sale or rental of housing.
Today, more than half a century later we continue to experience social unrest and protests centered on issues of equality, equal justice and systemic racism in the midst of a pandemic with racially disproportionate impacts.
Let’s look at the wealth gap and consider that, in 1968, a typical middle-class black household had $6,674 in wealth compared with $70,786 for the typical middle-class white household, according to data from the historical Survey of Consumer Finances that has been adjusted for inflation. In 2016, the typical middle-class black household had $13,024 in wealth versus $149,703 for the median white household, an even larger gap in percentage terms that what it was nearly 50 years ago.
Now consider this: the net worth of a homeowner is 41 times greater than that of a renter.
Why focus on housing? For starters, housing, along with food and clothing and the most primary of our basic needs. However, housing is so much more than that.
In fact, Americans’ primary residences account for about 25 percent of their overall wealth, more than any other asset. Homeownership remains a cornerstone of the American Dream, helps build strong communities and drive the U.S. economy. If homeownership helps provide both a stable foundation and a much needed economic tailwind for so many, we should be alarmed and concerned about the racial disparities in homeownership. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau survey, the African American homeownership rate at the end of the second quarter was 47%. While this number represented the highest levels since 2008, it trails the 76% homeownership rate for non-Hispanic whites by 29 percentage points. This disparity fundamentally limits the ability of African American renters to build equity and long term generational wealth. Long term systematic renting also means that each year these renters are forced to pay both higher rent, in real dollars, and to commit an ever increasing percentage of their income to housing as rent often increase faster than real wages.
Given this gap in wealth equality and homeownership percentages, it helps us understand why 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have been closed by COVID-19, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses according to research at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In reality, if you need $20,000 in order to keep the doors open and you have a net worth of $150,000, much of which may be in your home, you might be able to figure out a way to make it happen. If you are a renter and have a net worth under $15,000, it is nearly impossible. While overt racism in housing has long since been illegal, the disparities in home ownership among African Americans perpetuates long standing inequalities in all areas of society. When the homeownership rate is equal for all races we will have achieved real progress towards “fair housing.”
As seen in The Post and Courier on Sept 5th, 2020