CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new partnership between Roper Hospital, the city of Charleston and several other groups could bring new affordable housing units to downtown Charleston, specifically for people living with HIV/ AIDS, if approved by Charleston City Council Tuesday.
Documents from the city show council will be voting on using more than $126,000 of grant money toward rehabilitating two rental apartments downtown. Having this affordable housing for people with HIV/AIDS will make a big difference in the community, Dr. Michael Moxley, the Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity Officer at Roper St. Francis Hospital, says.
The hospital’s Ryan White Wellness Center is one way they serve people with HIV/AIDS by providing a one stop shop for all medical care, counseling and support, but Moxley says the hospital wants to go beyond just medical needs. This partnership is one way to do this, as it will be their patients who are living in this housing.
“It’s very important for people to have affordable housing, access to schools and jobs,” he says. “It’s more than just making sure they get their HIV medicine and they can afford it and they get their care. Given that proportion of patients that are underserved and underrepresented, if we improve the health of that population, we’re really going to lift up the entire community.”
Pastors, Inc., a community housing development nonprofit, is the project sponsor. The organization will be matching the funds provided by the city for this project and will be overseeing the construction and renovations, Development Director F.A. Johnson, II says.
Pending approval by the council, the new homes will hopefully be ready for tenants before the end of the year, according to Johnson.
“Affordable housing is such an issue, and once you add certain medical stigmas, there’s a population base that’s may not necessarily be served or have a tough time being served,” he says. “It really does feel good to know that we’re touching all segments of the community. This is what folks would say is a shovel-ready project. Once city council acts, we’re ready to move right on into construction.”
The funding approval will first go before the city of Charleston’s Ways and Means Committee and then on to City Council Tuesday at 5 p.m.
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