02 Sep South Carolina COVID-19 Housing Assistance Information
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the daily lives of many in our community physically, emotionally, and financially–or perhaps all three. For families who are struggling to pay rent, the road to recovery has been a difficult one. Some have already had to leave their homes because they could not catch up. Landlords have also had to shoulder the financial burden of maintaining their rental properties with little to no income coming in.
The SC Stay Plus program (apply here now) is a rental and utility assistance program, funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury, that launched in May 2021 to assist those who are experiencing financial hardships and housing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 global health emergency that has disrupted the lives of so many.
The program can help impacted households get back on track by providing up to 12 months of rental and utility assistance dating back to March 13, 2020; up to three months of future rent to stabilize those with housing insecurity; and cover other housing costs (including moving expenses, motel/hotel stays, storage costs and security deposits) for those who have been displaced because of the pandemic. See below for eligibility requirements.
We urge everyone who is behind on their rent or utilities to apply for assistance by clicking here or calling 800.476.0412. If you previously applied but haven’t provided the requested documentation to complete your application, please do so as soon as possible. This will allow SC Housing to review and process your application as quickly as we can. If you previously applied for assistance but have now had to leave your home, you may still be eligible for relocation assistance.
Please note: Residents in 39 counties are eligible to participate in the program. The following seven counties received other funding and are providing their own rental assistance programs: Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland, and Spartanburg – click here for information about those programs.
SC Housing recently relaxed its documentation requirements for applications, including allowing residents in 196 ZIP codes to simply self-attest to their income rather than provide documentation ( see a map and full list of ZIP codes here). SC Housing also has added staff members in order to provide additional in-person and telephonic support ( learn more in our Aug. 17 news release).
The federal eviction moratorium, which was put in place by the federal government to offer protection against losing your home due to non-payment of rent, ended on Aug. 27, 2021, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. At this point, evictions can move forward unless the back rent and all fees are paid in full.
We are here to help! Our call center is open for extended hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern to assist applicants and landlords.
Additional Housing Resources
If you have received an eviction notice or are concerned that you are about to be evicted, you can reach out to SC Legal Services online or by calling 888.346.5592, which is working to support families who may be facing eviction.
Facing a housing crisis can be emotionally challenging for your entire family. SC Hopes is offering a free program to provide emotional support and guide you and your family to community resources. You can reach SC Hopes at 844.724.6737 (844.SC.HOPES).
Finally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Department of Veteran Affairs and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development partnered to create a housing assistance website to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic.