ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) — The City of Anderson is now accepting COVID-related Mortgage Assistance Applications for those in need.
The city has received more than $200,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to help residents who are unable to pay their mortgage payments due to the loss of income related to COVID-19.
“This is a program that we feel will greatly benefit the Anderson community. This is available to persons that live within the city, and meet income eligibility criteria, as well as must own the home, must be delinquent and several other factors. But it is definitely something that will assist persons that have been experiencing a hardship and hopefully will help them to catch up on any arrears that are owed and will be able to help them and give up to a maximum of $5,000,” said Erica Craft, Director of Community Development Division, for City of Anderson.
Some people in Anderson said the struggle has been real during the pandemic.
“Everyday at my job, somebody is talking about how they’re behind. All you hear is bills, bills, bills,” said Breona Hughes, resident. “You’re working, you’re overworking, but the way your bills are set up, you’re already behind, you’re check is gone before it touches your hand. So, people are definitely behind on bills.”
“We receive calls often times. We also operate a Fair Housing Hotline that we do referrals for a number of clients, in order to try to assist them with whatever type of assistance needed. And as of now, I don’t know of any other program in this area that would assist mortgage holders,” Craft said. “Many people as you’re well aware have been impacted significantly from the pandemic. Some have had a loss of wages or their hours may have been cut, and there have been some times full loss of employment. So, this program allows us to assist persons that have experienced some type of hardship due to COVID, or they could’ve had increased expenses, which their able to document, that we may be able to assist them,” Craft said.
The United Way of Anderson County said, the need is great.
“We are filling calls every day of individuals who are about to be evicted who are needing places to stay,” said Brandy Singleton, Director of Community Impact. & SC Disaster Corps for the United Way of Anderson County.
Singleton said in September alone, they received 212 calls from people needing assistance with their rent or mortgage, which is higher than what the non-profit saw last year.
“We’ve actually seen an increase to our 211 call and resource line,” Singleton said. “So our calls for this year, in September, have increased by 59 percent in regards to individuals needing assistance.”
The City of Anderson released the following requirements for assistance through the program:
- Must be the owner and occupant of property located within Anderson City limits.
- Household income must be below 80% of the area median income and meet other criteria to qualify for assistance
- The program will provide up to six months of delinquent mortgage payments not to exceed $5,000 in total assistance.
- Payments will be made directly to the mortgage company. It is anticipated that assistance will be provided to approximately 40 qualified households.
- Provide appropriate documentation as listed below.
“This program as many programs, are determined by income, and again, we’re funded through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD). And for an example, a person that’s a part of a three person household, we look at all the earnings in that household, but a three person household the maximum amount that they can earn at 80 percent of the area median income for this area, is $49,100. With the number of persons per a household, it does increase slightly,” Craft said.
Craft provided the income chart below for reference:
“First off, we need to look at your mortgage statement and determine also that you’re delinquent. We need to know information from your drivers licenses or a photo ID. We also would need income verification,” Craft said. “We will allow persons to continue to submit applications. We will process it on a first come, first serve type of processing. And we will also look within the very near future to plan another intake day where we will be here or another convenient location to accept applications, answer questions, and to process documents.”
Something residents hope will change the game for everyone in need.
“I do believe that it will help, because lots of people need the relief. Lots of people like I said, are thousands and thousands of dollars behind,” Hughes said. “You won’t have to focus on your mortgage, you can focus on the other bills that are behind,” she added.
“We are very hopeful that we will be able to spend this within a very short-time frame. We know that the need is there. We know that people are needing help, and we want to be able to assist them,” Craft said.
Anyone interested in applying for mortgage assistance can call, 864-231-2223. You can also visit the Municipal Business Center, at 601 S. Main Street in Anderson.
To learn more and download an application, click here.