Representative asks Lowcountry mayors to open public housing for “Tent City” residents

CHARLESTON, SC (News Release) — Today, South Carolina State Representative Wendell Gilliard of District 111 calls on Mayor John Tecklenburg and Mayor Keith Summey to release the available empty units of public housing controlled by each respective city to residents of “Tent City” who have been living under and near the Ravenel Bridge and overpasses in Charleston and near N.Charleston’s city hall in the recent months in light of the impending winter storm hitting the Lowcountry this weekend.

Representative Gilliard is asking Mayor Tecklenburg and Mayor Summey along with state, county and local government to consider utilizing the empty facility at the old Naval Base as an immediate and/or long term solution to help resolve homelessness in Charleston County.

It is considered that there are a number of available units in public housing which are unoccupied and could serve as proper shelter to those who are living in the outdoor elements and are set to endure this weekend’s treacherous conditions.

Upwards of more than 100 people currently occupy space underneath the Ravenel Bridge and overpasses in Charleston along with outdoor spaces near North Charleston’s city hall.  Numerous weather reports currently show freezing rain and thunderstorms throughout the weekend with low temperatures reaching around 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

State Representative Wendell Gilliard said:

The conditions hitting the Lowcountry this weekend will be severe and it is deplorable to think we would allow people to weather the storm in makeshit houses and tents in the outdoors while public housing units remain empty and available. Each mayor needs to open all available housing units immediately and help transfer people living in tents outside to safer and warm conditions inside these proper dwellings.

Next week, Representative  Gilliard plans on introducing a Resolution in the Tate House to encourage local governments across the state to open all public housing to those in need.

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