CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority says they are launching a program to help renters and homeowners who have struggled to pay their bills because of the pandemic and quarantine.
The state says they are the SC Stay Program will afford South Carolinians with approximately $25 million in CARES Act funding. Officials say money will be made available for rental and mortgage assistance to eligible low-income families across the state.
SC Stay Communications Officer Chris Winston says they decided to launch this program because the CDC moratorium on evictions is set to expire at the end of January. He says individuals or families who qualify could receive up to six months of rental and mortgage assistance.
In order to qualify, Winston says applicants must be able to show that their income is at or below 80% of the county’s median income adjusted by family size.
State records show the median income for Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties is $81,000.
Winston says applicants will not only have to prove their income for this year, but last year too.
Once the decrease has been confirmed and the applicant can provide a valid reason, Winston says they will be eligible for aid. This could include losing a job because of the pandemic, getting fewer hours, or because a family got the virus and had to stay home, Winston says.
“The Coronavirus has definitely impacted folks who are in the hospitality and retail workforce. Who, a lot of them, are low-income residents and neighbors,” Winston says. “We have seen a lot of them be impacted more by the Coronavirus than others. A lot of folks in our state have been lucky to be able to work from home or work remotely, stay safe and stay in their housing and keep their jobs and keep their income, but millions of our states residents aren’t able to do that.”
SC Stay says they are looking for non-profit and government partners from around the state to help administer these funds as well as groups to help certify eligible low-income households and help with the on-boarding process in different counties around the state.
Agencies who want to apply to partner with the SC Stay Program can review the qualifications and apply at SC Stay’s website. The last day for processing agencies to apply is next Tuesday.
Additionally, more information can be found by calling the SC Stay hotline number at 833-985-2929.
People looking for assistance through this program can start submitting their information and there is not a specific deadline for them.