Berkeley Co. accepting applications for Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 7:42 AM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Berkeley County officials say they are accepting applications for their new Emergency Rental Assistance Program and now is the time to apply.

Berkeley County is reportedly prepared to distribute at least $6.8 million to residents in the county who are having trouble paying their rent or utilities bills.

Officials say it’s important to note that now that these allocations have been released, the CDC Eviction Moratorium is no longer in effect.

Those still utilizing the CDC moratorium, are being encouraged by the Berkeley County government to apply for this new rental assistance program as soon as they can.

The US Treasury Department released the $6.8 million to communities that have under 200,000 people.

Berkeley County Grant Administrator Sandi Riddle says they are hoping to be able to help everyone.

Riddle says they are prepared to help with bills as far back as March of last year and as much as three months of bills at a time.

To apply residents will need to prove their income has been affected by COVID-19 or that their household income is at or below 80% of the area median.

Berkeley County says applications will be granted on a random lottery system.

Although homeowners are not eligible for these grants, Riddle says they are hoping to help more than just renters.

“We are very happy that we have this opportunity to help citizens here in Berkeley County, both renters and landlords,” Riddle says. “We have a lot of landlords that are small landlords that operate one or two homes that they rent out or apartment and you know they’re in need as well.”

Riddle says they have worked to simplify the application as much as possible, and they are hoping to process hundreds every week. The funds could reportedly be distributed as early as next week.

Berkeley County says they will be taking applications on their website for the next three weeks.

Applicants who need a paper application or have questions can call the Emergency Rental Assistance Hotline at 843-377-8507. The hotline is available 24/7.

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