Myrtle Beach hospitality and tourism employees could have affordable housing options soon

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Affordable Workforce Housing Committee will hold a workshop Tuesday morning to discuss new opportunities to build affordable housing developments accommodating Myrtle Beach employees.

The goal is to assess affordable housing options for hospitality and tourism employees, a large percentage of the city’s workforce, whose income is $35,000 or less.

When you compare the average workforce salary in Myrtle Beach with average Myrtle Beach housing prices, prices that only continue to rise year after year, the two don’t go hand in hand.

“The population growth has been explosive in the last ten years. The market in the last couple of years has been on fire. So that amount of people moving into the market has put a strain on the availability of affordable workforce housing,” President and CEO of Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association and Affordable Workforce Housing board member Stephen Greene said.

Based on current average salaries, city leaders say $875 or less is ideal for workforce housing or apartment rent.

According to reports by the Affordable Workforce Housing Committee, the city of Myrtle Beach has the highest median home listing prices in Horry County.

Rent is increasing, too. The average rate increased 7% from the previous year.

Leaders say more products and workforce will be needed as the economy continues growing at significant levels.

The city is taking a proactive approach that focuses on a starting point, a direction to head towards, and looks to dial in on how great the workforce housing need is.

“I think it will help us and our needs in the hospitality industry to ensure these workers and workforces in place for the growth that tourism is experiencing,” Greene said.

Greene said the Affordable Workforce Housing Committee’s plans correlate with new downtown redevelopment plans. Both projects aim for the growth and betterment of the tourism economy.

The committee is getting creative with affordable workforce housing ideas where new downtown developments are being discussed.

The downtown redevelopment project looks to bring new attractions to the market. Affordable Workforce Housing committee members see this as an opportunity to offer developers new incentives to create not only the product they’re bringing in but the ability for additional workforce housing.

“If you’re building a two-story attraction maybe third or fourth floor you could do workforce housing, also bring more people to the downtown area that are living, enjoying the restaurants, enjoying the attractions, and continuing to put the pedal to the metal for the redevelopment of the downtown area,” Greene said.

To see the workshop’s full presentation, click here.

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