Historical Nuggets: Charleston County and the City of Charleston are two of the most historic locations in South Carolina and in the United States. In 1670, English settlers arrived and established a town at Albemarle Point on the west bank of the Ashley River. Eventually, Charles Town, named to honor King Charles II of England, was moved to a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and renamed Charleston in 1783.
Being the political, economic and social center of South Carolina, Charleston served as the state capital until 1790. English and French Huguenot settlers, and their African slaves, built very profitable indigo, rice and cotton plantations along the area’s rivers and sea islands. Charleston, the county seat, Awendaw, Folly Beach, Hollywood, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, and Sullivan’s Island are just a few of the cities and towns that make up the 916 square miles that fall inside the county lines with an average of 382 persons living per square mile.
Population & Demographics: Per the 2010 U.S. Census, Charleston County had a total population of 350,208 with 29% being African American. Although the county’s median household income is $50,133, fully 16.8% of the population is identified as “living below the poverty line” with 12% being White and 34% being Black.
Heirs’ property is an important issue when considering the generational poverty among many African American families in Charleston County. For most of us, our property is our most valuable asset. Not so, for heirs’ property owners. Because the land is owned “in common”, there is no clear title to the land which prevents the family from obtaining a loan or mortgage or accessing any public funds to improve their home or land. Therefore, owning heirs’ property is more of a liability than an asset until the title is cleared.
Mapping Project: According to the Center’s HP mapping research completed in 2012, there are more than 40,000 acres of heirs’ property remaining in our six-county service area, of which 4,230 acres remain in Charleston County, representing 10.4% of the whole. The Center has developed a strategic plan to reach out to the areas of higher concentrations of HP in Charleston County to deliver services where they are needed most.
The Center offers education seminars and legal services to low wealth families in Charleston County to help them obtain clear title to their family land and keep it. PLEASE CALL OUR HOME OFFICE in Charleston to schedule an appointment TO TALK WITH OUR ATTORNEY about your particular heirs’ property issues or to request a seminar: (843) 745-7055.
To learn more about Charleston County visit http://www.sciway.net/cnty/charleston.html or check out the resources shown below.