Three new affordable housing units ‘filling the need’ in Arcade Mill Village

Responding to a need and to the market, the Housing Development Corporation of Rock Hill recently signed off on construction of three new units of affordable housing in the Arcade Mill Village.

The new energy-efficient homes, which will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms each, will be located on Wright St. and Arcade St.

They represent the first major construction since the turn of the decade. HDCRH built 10 of the initial 11 homes in the Arcade Mill Village area back in 2008, and have since seen them all sold to families.

The HDCRH has been waiting for the market to correct itself ever since the recession in 2008, and director of Housing and Neighborhood Services Jennifer Wilford says they’re taking advantage of a stable period.

“We wanted to make sure the market was ready,” said Wilford at the HDC’s annual meeting in Rock Hill. “We want to make sure people are able to buy houses. As Rock hill becomes more of a growing community, there comes the desire for affordable housing. We’re just filling the need.”

The Rock Hill Council of Neighborhoods and HDCRH have spent nearly a decade partnering on the revitalization of the Hagins-Fewell neighborhood and the redevelopment of the Arcade Mill property. Yeshua’s Builders of Chester will be tasked with completing the three homes, with John Lyons as the contractor, according to Neighborhood Development Administrator Jason Weil.

Each potential buyer for a home created through the HDC goes through the city’s “First Time Homebuyer Program,” which helps to educate families on the responsibilities and pressures of maintaining a home.

Weil says the units are typically reserved for families who earn at or below 80 percent of the median income of the area. Last year, the homebuyer education class reached 188 individuals (a 31 percent increase from 2014) with training on credit, mortgage finance and maintenance.

“It’s important to reflect on the lives that we’ve helped with these neighborhood efforts,” said Rock Hill mayor Doug Echols at Tuesday’s annual meeting. “There’s no magic wand to wave to help, but it comes down to the hard work of all the people here.”

Through the efforts of community projects, revitalization and new homes, the HDC estimates it has helped 808 Rock Hill families over the past year.

The latest homes — which will be located on 3 Arcade Street, 18 Wright, and 20 Wright — should be put on the market when they’re around 75 percent complete.

The initial 11 homes were all constructed on Sidney St. and Hagins St., with most selling between 2009 and 2011 between $82,000 and $109,500. The newer homes are expected to cost between $110,000 and $125,000, according to Weil.

By David Thackham, Staff Reporter with The Herald