The Present Status and Promising Future of Workforce Housing on Hilton Head Island

November 2023

We've all heard the saying, "Home is where the heart is." While it may be a well-known phrase, it holds a special meaning as we discuss the status and the promising future of workforce housing on Hilton Head Island.

This month, I'm embracing this idea as we carry out our initiatives to give members of our workforce a place to love and call home. We aim to support our caregivers, teachers, medical professionals, first responders, chefs, servers, and other essential workers by providing them with options for affordable living spaces. In turn, living on the island will enable them to continue serving our community and providing vital services to our residents and visitors.

The town recently took a significant step forward to increase housing availability for Hilton Head Island workers with our announcement to partner with OneStreet Residential, a reputable developer known for its high-quality properties. Together, we are working towards establishing a workforce housing community at Northpoint, an 11-acre town-owned site just beyond the post office on the north end of the island. This collaboration emphasizes our commitment to addressing one of our community's most pressing challenges.

We're currently negotiating a development agreement with OneStreet and anticipate a vote on this in early 2024. After that, we look forward to putting shovels in the ground and bringing our vision to reality.

Looking ahead, we envision a vibrant community of 150 to 170 multifamily units. These will include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, catering to various income levels and professions of those who work on Hilton Head Island. At least 50 percent of these apartments will be accessible to households earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income. This project gives hope that living and working on the island is possible.

Even more encouraging is that we're not tackling this challenge alone. Local businesses are stepping up to create options. Among them is the Richardson Group, which recently developed new apartment units near Coligny Beach and partnered with Hilton Head Hospital to house travel nurses and other healthcare staff. This marks the Richardson Group's second venture in workforce housing.

Last year, Sea Pines Resort took a positive step by developing a complex of affordable housing units for members of its workforce. Recently, Town Council approved amendments in our land management code allowing a new use in the Sea Pines Circle area, thanks to the advocacy of residents and business leaders. This change could pave the way for housing for University of South Carolina-Beaufort students and other island workers. Together, we are making progress in creating the right places and spaces for the workforce, who genuinely are the engine of our community.

In addition to these developments, our Housing Action Committee is now meeting. This dedicated group of community leaders is tasked with advising the town manager, town staff, and Town Council on strategies, ideas, and recommendations to address workforce housing affordability. They will play a vital role in implementing our housing plan recommendations, appropriately titled Finding Home, a Workforce Housing Framework.

Our goal is for our community to be safe, livable, and inclusive. To achieve this, we recognize the necessity of providing all levels of employees with a place to call home in the community where they work.

Mayor Alan Perry

Mayor Alan Perry

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