South Carolina housing program offers rent, utility aid to those affected by COVID-19

State News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – Residents in 39 of South Carolina’s 46 counties who need help with rent and utility payments because of the COVID-19 pandemic can now seek assistance through a new federally funded program operated by SC Housing.

Seven counties not covered by the $272 million SC Stay Plus program received direct funding from the U.S. Treasury to operate their own assistance programs. That means people living in those areas need to apply in their own counties. Those counties are Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg.

Anyone who lives in the 39 counties covered by SC Stay Plus program and meets the qualifications may get up to 12 months of assistance for rent and utility payments dating back to March 2020. Up to three months of future rent assistance is also available to those who qualify.

Assistance is available if at least one person in the household has qualified for unemployment or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to COVID-19; can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and has a household income at or below 80% of their county’s median income.

Based on federal and state requirements, priority will be given to households with an income at or below 50% of the median income, those with an individual who has been unemployed for more than 90 days or those that are already in the eviction process. Household income will be determined using the household’s 2020 annual income or current monthly income at the time of application. 

Residents can find the application portal for SC Stay Plus at SCHousing.com. You can also call (803) 336-3420 for more information.

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