NOW OPEN: SC Stay Plus rental, utility assistance program

SC STAY

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Call 1.800.476.0412 to start the application process.

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.

You can click here or call 800.476.0412 to check the status of your application or let us know about the change in your living situation.

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:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
  • Has a household income at or below 80% of county median income adjusted by family size.

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:

  • Pictures or scans of a photo identification (driver’s license, passport [including foreign passports], etc.)
  • A copy (or picture) of their signed lease, or proof of rent payments (bank account statement [edit out any confidential information!] or Venmo/Zell screenshot) if a signed lease is not available.
  • A 2020 Federal Tax Return (1040/1040EZ or equivalent) or pay stub from the last 60 days. Please note that only the first two pages of a tax return are required.

The South Carolina Emergency Rental Assistance Program Advisory Panel is comprised of the following people:

  • Director of the Department of Administration, or his designee: Brian Gaines, Director, Executive Budget Office
  • Director of the Office of Regulatory Staff, or his designee: Amy Marshall, Manager, Finance and Administration
  • Representative recommended by the Association of Counties appointed by the Board of Directors of SC Housing: David Hudspeth, York County Manager
  • Representative from the Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina appointed by the Board of Directors of SC Housing: Alisa Mosley, Executive Director
  • Representative from the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development appointed by the Board of Directors of SC Housing: Bernie Mazyck, President & CEO
  • Representative from a utility provider appointed by the Public Service Commission: Christopher R. Koon, Attorney, SC Electric Cooperatives

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:

  • Landlord name, address, Social Security Number and/or Tax ID number as applicable.
  • A completed IRS Form W-9, ACH payment form, and voided check for electronic payment. If the payee is another party, this information must be provided from the other payee. Additionally, the landlord will also provide an attestation that payment can be made to this third party.
  • Proof of ownership (deed, most recent real estate tax bill, or current property insurance policy). Note: SC Housing may also verify property ownership with a local municipal assessor’s office or with the registry of deeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Landlord Referral Form