$25 million in rent, mortgage help on the way for SC families

SC Stay will help relieve hundreds of thousands facing eviction in Palmetto State

Columbia, SC (WLTX) – An extended moratorium on evictions is due to expire at the end of the month.

Housing advocates fear that when it is lifted, hundreds of thousands of people in our state will have no place to live.

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A program called SC stay is working to keep more people in their homes.

“Our plan is to help as many people as possible. We know help is needed right now,” said Chris Winston, spokesperson for SC housing.

For many South Carolina residents, months and months of mortgage and rent payments are piling up.

While the moratorium delays the due date, when it is lifted, these tenants will owe thousands of dollars.

“The National Council of State Housing Authorities predicts that there could be between 100,000 and 180,000 tenants in South Carolina who are at risk of eviction when part of the moratorium and pauses on evictions are lifted. end of January,” Winston said. “South Carolina had a lot of evictions of people struggling with affordable housing even before the pandemic. What you’ve seen with the pandemic is just an exacerbation of that problem.”

Fortunately, Winston says help is on the way through the SC Stay COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program.

“We have up to $25 million to spend shortly to help people with their mortgage or rental assistance,” Winston said.

The money comes from CARES Act funding from HUD and the Department of Commerce.

Before the program starts, SC Housing needs partners.

“We are looking for nonprofits, government agencies, other groups that can help us certify qualified people for assistance and help us distribute these funds.”

Financing will be available for up to six months’ rent.

To qualify, families must:

  • Do at or below 80% of county median income
  • Ask a landlord or lender to confirm the late payment while accepting payments on behalf of the tenant
  • Prove that they are unable to pay to live in their accommodation for reasons related to the pandemic

SC Stay is expected to launch financial aid by mid-February.

“You’re still going to have economic hardship ahead for a lot of people in our community and we hope to help as many people as possible,” Winston said.

For non-profit organizations or agencies interested in helping, Click here. The deadline to respond to the offer of assistance is January 19.

For tenants who want to know more about the program and how it starts, call the SC Housing Helpline at (833) 985-2929 or fill out a short form here.

Tenants and landlords looking for help avoiding eviction or foreclosure can find helpful resources at SC Housing website.