Assistance program rolled out for South Carolinians impacted by COVID-19 needing help paying rent

CSRA News

SOUTH CAROLINA (WJBF) — South Carolina non-profit SC Thrive is stepping up to the plate for those who need help paying their rent due to the pandemic.

Landlords are bracing for a wave of missed payments with little to no aid, for some, insight. A moratorium on evictions in South Carolina ended earlier this month, with evictions and foreclosures resuming beginning May 15. “Courts are going to be dealing with a real flood of eviction case on top of dealing with is a property covered by the cares act, how do we know, how do we verify that. It’s a bad time to be trying to figure that out,” Adam Protheroe with SC Appleseed Justice Center said.

Now a rental program that could help residents affected by the virus. SC Thrive and South Carolina Housing launched a program designed to provide emergency rental assistance to those facing financial issues. “Individuals may be displaced from their jobs or maybe they’ve suffered some type of loss and not been able to pay their rent. And so this program will help step in to help renters get some assistance, to help bring them current on their past due rents,” Chief Community Relations Office for SC Thrive Stephanie McGuire told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

Eligible households can get up to $1,500 for rent. The one-time, lump-sum payment will be made straight to the landlord within 30 days of approval.

Applicants must meet a number of requirements to qualify for the program, including:

  • Applicants must be South Carolina residents.
  • Applicants’ household income at the time of application must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the county in which they reside. Income eligibility by county can be found at: https://bit.ly/2LPONAh.
  • Applicants’ employment/income must have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning March 10, 2020, or later.
  • Applicants must be PAST DUE a minimum of one month on rent.
  • The rent assistance payment must bring the rental balance current.
  • The applicant CANNOT currently receive any subsidized rental assistance.
  • The applicant CANNOT be approved for or a recipient of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation ($600 additional weekly benefit).
  • You must meet a number of requirements to qualify.

The biggest two requirements being a South Carolina resident and meeting income limits.”So the area median income at 80% at, or below the median income for their area. So wherever the address is on that lease, that is the AMI or the income determining factor,” McGuire added.

Shawn asked McGuire, “Is there any reason why a person would be denied if they submitted all the paperwork?” “The only reason a person would be denied is if they didn’t meet those minimum requirements,” she shared.

We’ve learned since launching Wednesday, May 20, more than 480 people have started the process of applying. The application process takes place on SC Thrive’s website, scthrive.org. “If you are an individual that doesn’t have access to a computer or things like that, please help a friend or have a friend help you or reach out to our, our email address and give that we see how we have other partners that may be able to assist,” McGuire shared.

Keep in mind, the funds are first-come, first-served with no waiting lists.

The rental assistance program is just another way the non-profit is offering solutions to South Carolinians who need it the most. “If you say you are in a good place with your housing, but maybe you have other concerns that you want to see if you’re eligible for please reach out to us, we just want to help get the resources to the people that need it.”

If you’re interested in learning more about or applying for the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, you can do so, here: https://scthrive.org/covid-19-rental-assistance-program/. You can also contact the organization via email at: COVID19rentalassistance@scthrive.org.

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