How to Get Help If You're Facing Eviction in South Carolina
Rental assistance will still exist once the CDC's moratorium on evictions expires. But advocates say you shouldn't wait to reach out for help.
- This story is part of South Carolina Public Radio's continuing coverage of the eviction crisis in the Palmetto State. For additional stories, click HERE.
It might not seem so when you’re staring down the real possibility of losing your residence, but for South Carolinians at risk of being evicted once the CDC’s moratorium expires, there is help.
Below are some of the resources and programs that exist around the state. Additional resources may be added over time.
A common theme from housing advocates, affordable housing agencies, state agencies, and legal groups, no matter what stage of the eviction cycle you might be in, is the importance of talking with your landlord.
SC STAY PLUS
The South Carolina Housing and Finance Authority (SC Housing) manages the largest pool of rental assistance money in the state. SC Stay Plus is a $272 million relief fund for renters affected financially by the pandemic. The fund is open to residents in all but seven counties: Anderson, Berkeley, Greenville, Horry, Richland, and Spartanburg. These counties have their own relief programs (see below).
“The funds for SC Stay Plus will continue past the eviction moratorium,” says SC Housing Public Information Officer Chris Winston. The money will continue to help pay for late rents and utilities, and is “also for folks who may need help with other housing costs, including moving expenses, storage fees, security deposits, etc.”
Winston adds that even if you have been given an eviction notice, SC Housing might be able to help. Call 1.800.476.0412.
Filing for SC Stay Plus, he says, can help show landlords and the state’s magistrate courts that you are working to resolve your owed-money issues.
Contact the South Carolina Housing and Finance Authority HERE
Start the application process for SC Stay Plus HERE
Residents of Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland, and Spartanburg counties are not eligible for SC Stay Plus funding. That’s because these counties have their own programs.
· Anderson: Funds can be applied towards rent or mortgage payments and are designed to prevent families from being removed from their homes due to events caused by the covid-19 Pandemic of 2020. Information on the county’s program is HERE
· Berkeley: The county received $6.89 million from the U.S. Treasury Department in March and another $5 million from the U.S. treasury for rental assistance. Information on the county’s program is HERE
· Charleston: Assistance can be provided for rental, mortgage, and utility costs. Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services is also providing free legal services, only for those impacted by COVID-19. Information with several links is HERE
· Greenville: Eviction assistance in the county is run through the United Way. Get information HERE
· Horry: Emergency rental assistance is provided through the East Coast Housing Organization. More information about ECHO programs is HERE. Information and applications for ECHO’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is HERE
· Richland: The county’s ERA, or Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides for $12.5 million to help local households that are unable to pay rent and utilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about the county’s ERAP is HERE
· Spartanburg: Assistance is available for county renters who meet income and hardship eligibility requirements. Information and applications for the county’s ERAP is HERE
OTHER LINKS TO RESOURCES
· There have been dozens of more localized CARES Act and rental assistance programs launched throughout South Carolina. Visit this page for more information and contacts.
· If you are looking for affordable housing, SC Housing Search is HERE
· Added July 30: This checklist from the U.S. interagency Council on Homelessness about what to do if you're facing eviction. Click HERE