Charity predicts surge in assistance claims

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:01 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:56 AM EDT

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Trident United Way says they are predicting a surge in rental assistance claims when the eviction moratorium ends in two weeks.

Trident United Way’s policy experts are predicting a surge in assistance claims if the Centers for Disease Control eviction moratorium ends on June 30. That is, unless there is a last-ditch push to extend it.

The Lowcountry non-profit says that calls to their 211 Helpline continue to be at record totals. They say numbers are up 31% for the Tri-County compared with May 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing. Rent assistance makes up 21% of those requests, second only to utility assistance at 32%, Trident United Way says.

TUW says South Carolina has the second highest percentage of people behind on rent at 23%. Only Mississippi ranks higher at 26%. They say it’s estimated more than 11 million Americans are behind on rent.

TUW’s 211 Helpline and Resource Connection Centers are two methods people can reach out for help. The non-profit says rental assistance funds are available in Charleston and Berkeley Counties and TUW can help navigate clients through the process.

Tenants who are behind on rent are recommended to work with their landlords for some payment planning. TUW says past due rent amounts still need to be paid, no matter the outcome of the eviction moratorium.

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