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  • States have begun to ramp up the amount of rental assistance reaching tenants but there are still millions of families facing eviction who haven't gotten help. The Treasury Department says just $5.1 billion of the estimated $46.5 billion in federal rental assistance, or only 11%, has been distributed by states and localities through July. Several states, including Virginia and Texas, have been praised for moving quickly to get the federal money out. But there are still plenty of states, from South Carolina to Arizona, who have distributed very little. The concerns about the slow pace intensified Thursday, after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a temporary eviction ban put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The end of tenant protections on July 31 has raised concerns that thousands of South Carolina residents will be unable to afford their monthly rent and face eviction. The state and its largest counties have set aside $346 million to help with outstanding rent, utility payments and other expenses, but extensive federal rules have slowed the flow of money to those in need. Many South Carolina tenants at risk of being evicted will be left to find a new home in a tough rental market where almost one in four renters spend more than half their income on rent.
  • Habitat for Humanity affiliates would be the first to admit they're struggling. Employees say the past year has felt like one punch after the other. They received the first hit when they had to limit volunteers over virus concerns, forcing them to forked out more money to hire contractors. The spike in construction costs, prominently lumber, in the past year has brought on additional expenses. Faced with challenges on all sides, Habitat affiliates are now trying to mitigate the costs. Some are increasing fundraising and using alternative construction materials, while others are passing on some costs to homebuyers.
  • It’s been a bad year. You lost a lot of work because of the pandemic. You haven’t been able to pay the rent in months. And now your landlord tells you…
  • This edition of the South Carolina Lede for February 23, 2021, features: a look at the national abortion debate and what the future may hold for South…
  • Three brand-new houses off busy Two Notch Road in Columbia seem a world away from the road’s heavy traffic. They’re in a wooded area that a visitor would…