City-Wide Housing Study
Cayce, South Carolina
RKG was hired by the City of Cayce, South Carolina to conduct a comprehensive housing study to help the city understand their housing opportunities and challenges and make recommendations for aligning regulations, financing, and programs. In December 2019, the City enacted a housing moratorium after several large development proposals were brought forward. Seeking to be proactive in how it responded to the proposals, the City enacted the temporary moratorium in order to conduct the housing study and allow for time to make appropriate changes ensuring new development aligns with housing needs.
Cayce is a small city on the edge of the major metropolitan hub and university campus in Downtown Columbia. While a river may divide the two, their economies, workforce, and housing markets are inextricably linked creating a growing population in need of housing at a price that matches their incomes. While Columbia grows and evolves its downtown and campus areas, Cayce is the recipient of spillover demand from new residents looking for a smaller city with more affordably priced homes but still within very close proximity to the activity across the river. It is this synergy and proximity that provides Cayce with excellent opportunities to capture this market demand and use it to drive new investment in existing neighborhoods, riverfront redevelopment, a burgeoning arts district, and new strategic growth over time in areas at the edges of the city.
Our study found that housing demand is very strong in Cayce driven by increases in residents ages 25-34 who are moving to Cayce due to its proximity to Columbia and the University of South Carolina, it's high quality of life, and less expensive rents and purchase prices. These new residents are coming with higher incomes which is putting pressure on housing prices and causing homes to sell and rent very quickly at escalating prices.
To address the growing housing demand, RKG recommended several strategies that included changes to zoning to allow a wider range of product types in residential and mixed-use districts, a strong annexation policy that compares each proposed project against a strict set of criteria, renewing the City's focus on supporting and improving lower-income neighborhoods, and bolstering strategic partnerships with housing organizations and neighborhood groups to address housing issues.
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