The Bluffton Town Council proclaimed April to be "Fair Housing Month" and it publicly declared its desire for a decent and safe living environment for all citizens. Real "Fair Housing" is fair to all because it doesn't allow discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, and the Town wants to protect the rights of its citizens as we work together toward that goal.
The South Carolina Fair Housing Law was put in place by the State in 1989, and this law was drafted similar to the Federal Fair Housing Law enacted in 1968 and amended in 1988. In each case, the law encouraged equal housing opportunities by preventing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability. Providing housing opportunities for all citizens can help to keep the community fabric intact.
While Town Council's April resolution was a clear indicator of support for Fair Housing, there are more initiatives underway in the community. For example, the Town applied for - and received - grant funding under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and HOME Grants that enabled it to develop six affordable homes in the Old Town for sale to qualified households earning 80% or less of the Beaufort County area median income. In addition, the Town offers other special programs such as the Neighborhood Assistance Program that may be of interest to citizens.
Applications for these Town-sponsored programs can be obtained at Town Hall at 20 Bridge Street or call the Town's Growth Management Department at 706-4500. The housing initiatives are designed to help people in the community, and citizens are urged to refer their neighbors, friends, or family members to the Town for more information. Working together, we can ensure that "Fair Housing" goes hand-in-hand with the "decent, safe, and sound living environment" envisioned by Town Council for the entire community.