Leaders come up with ideas to make working, living in Myrtle Beach more affordable

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:33 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Many people who work in the city of Myrtle Beach don’t actually live within the city limits, and it’s been an ongoing problem for years.

City leaders are hoping to change that in order to improve the quality of life of those people.

Taylor Wightman, 26, works in the city of Myrtle Beach, but she lives all the way in Conway with roommates because she can’t afford to live closer to her job in the city.

“I know firsthand that most people cannot afford to stay in the area,” Wightman said.

People like Wightman are the exact reason why city leaders formed the Workforce Housing Advisory Board in order to come up with solutions to the problem.

The board met Tuesday and threw out ideas on how to fix the issue.

One possible idea was a down payment assistance program, where Myrtle Beach city employees could have their down payments matched up to $5,000 by the city.

Board members believe this would help since a lot of people can’t afford to make a down payment in the first place. City leaders also hope other employers would do the same in the future with their employees.

Board members also talked about making any workforce housing primarily available to buyers, rather than investors looking to rent the units out.

Wightman said whatever city leaders come up with, she hopes those solutions are implemented sooner rather than later.

“I really hope that it is more near future than far future about having affordable housing. This is a problem all over Myrtle Beach, so I am hopeful for the future and excited to see what the city has planned,” Wightman said.

The board also talked about how they want to start using the term “attainable housing” rather than “affordable housing,” because “affordable housing” has a negative connotation that doesn’t necessarily always live up to that stereotype.

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