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.)
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 Horry – click here for information about those programs.
The federal eviction moratorium, which was put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to offer protection against losing your home due to non-payment of rent, ended on July 31, 2021. This means that evictions can now move forward unless the back rent is paid in full.
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.
We are here to help! Our call center is open for extended hours to 9 p.m. Eastern to assist applicants and landlords.
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.
Assistance is available for households in which one or more individuals meet the following criteria:
Based upon federal requirements, priority will be given to households with an income at or below 50% of the median income and those with an individual who has been unemployed for more than 90 days. Household income can be determined by using income for calendar year 2020 or the household’s monthly income at the time of application.
Funding for the program is made available through the U.S. Department of Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
To prepare for the launch of SC Stay Plus, applicants can start by gathering the following documentation. Please note: Not all documents are required, and lack of some documents should not discourage applicants from applying.
Applicants should prepare:
The South Carolina Emergency Rental Assistance Program Advisory Panel is comprised of the following people:
The role of the Advisory Panel is to review and monitor the implementation and evaluation of the program and funding. Click here to email members of the Advisory Panel.
Advisory Panel meetings will begin at 11:00 am on the second Friday of each month until further notice. The public is welcome to attend these meetings. Please email Sarah.Shinsky@schousing.com for more information.
SC Stay Plus has been created to assist South Carolina households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides payments directly to landlords and utility companies on behalf of affected renters. These funds are made available to South Carolinians under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, and South Carolina Act 17 of 2021.
Landlords are required to provide the following information: