Affordable Housing | Esau Jenkins Village

Date: March 14, 2024
Category: Housing

Over six decades ago, Esau Jenkins, a South Carolinian and civil rights activist, embarked on a mission to pioneer safe and affordable housing solutions for his community on Johns Island. His legacy, deeply rooted in social justice and community empowerment, laid the foundation for the Esau Jenkins Village—a 72-unit affordable housing complex tailored for seniors that recently broke ground in Johns Island. Situated near the intersection of Maybank Highway and Bohicket Road, this development represents a collaborative effort between public and private partners. 

Elaine Jenkins, the youngest daughter of Esau Jenkins, expressed gratitude at the recent groundbreaking ceremony held for the Esau Jenkins Village. “Thank you for taking note that our parents’ ministry made a difference in the lives of people here on the sea islands,” Jenkins told the crowd.

Deborah McKetty, president of the South Carolina Community Loan Fund, hailed the project as a prime example of successful public-private partnership. The financing, totaling close to $26 million, was secured with contributions from entities such as Citibank, PNC Bank, and various public agencies, including the state of South Carolina, the City of Charleston, and Charleston County. These funds, derived from the federal American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the South Carolina Community Loan Fund, underscore the commitment to providing affordable housing solutions.

The Esau Jenkins Village will feature 61 one-bedroom apartments and 11 two-bedroom apartments, catering to seniors earning up to 60 percent of the area’s median income. Amenities such as a community room, fitness center, computer station, walking trail, and outdoor gathering space are planned, with an anticipated completion date in spring 2025.

Charleston Mayor William Cogswell also attended the groundbreaking, emphasizing the importance of such developments in preserving the character, culture, and community essence of Charleston. Cogswell underscored the significance of subsidized housing for residents deeply rooted in the community, whose ties may otherwise be strained by rising living costs.

Esau’s legacy lives on not only through the Esau Jenkins Village, but also through various successful initiatives, including the establishment of the Progressive Club—a cooperative grocery and educational center—and a Citizenship School, where literacy and voting rights were championed.
To learn more about how South Carolina Community Loan Fund champions affordable housing, click here.

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