Rent & utility assistance, Spartanburg County leaders moving ahead with seeking federal funds to help


SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A major boost for people in Spartanburg County who are having trouble making ends meet. County leaders are seeking millions of dollars in federal funds to help cover the cost of rent and utilities for some of these residents.

Kathy Rivers has spent a lot of her time in the Spartanburg County Community Services building.

“We’re here to work for them and we want to help them,” said Director of Community Development for Spartanburg County, Kathy Rivers.

Through her years of working with the county, she has heard a lot of somber stories.

“We had a lady call today and she said, my roof needs to be replaced but I need my medicine so how do you make the decision,” Rivers told us.

However, this pandemic is making calls like that far more common.

But relief is on the horizon.

“We searched for these dollars because we found out that the Department of the Treasury had funds which of course is a different funding source, had funds available for rental assistance and utilities,” Rivers said.

Spartanburg County leaders are moving ahead with seeking federal dollars, $9.6 million to be exact. That money is slated to help with the cost of rent and utilities for people who have lost their jobs or suffered some sort of loss of income since March 30 of 2020.

The county’s partner agencies are seeing the need firsthand.

“Those are the largest bills we see as in terms of quantity the most. Rent assistance is definitely the biggest,” said Hannah Jarrett with the United Way of the Piedmont.

“It’s wonderful to have this vital infusion of resources into our community at such a critical period where so many people have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” CEO of Spartanburg Housing, Shaunté Evans told 7 News.

Those agencies are just a couple that would help distribute those funds to landlords and utility providers.

Rivers told us, agencies will need to verify with landlords and utility providers that the funding is needed. That money has to be allocated by September 30.

Applicants will need to prove household income. The timeline of it all is still being figured out between the county and their partner agencies. They will have that on their website as soon as it’s available. You can find a link to that below.

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