COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 5, 2021) – Residents in 39 South Carolina counties who are behind on rent and utility payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply for help through a new federally funded program from SC Housing.
Those who qualify for the $272 million SC Stay Plus program may receive up to 12 months of assistance for rent and utility payments dating back to March 2020. Applicants may also qualify for up to 3 months of future rent assistance. Residents can find the application portal for SC Stay Plus at SCHousing.com. Applicants who have questions or need additional assistance can call the SC Stay Plus call center at 803.336.3420.
Assistance is available for households in which one or more individuals meet all the following criteria:• Has qualified for unemployment or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly due to COVID-19 (i.e., since March 2020);• Can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and• Has a household income at or below 80% of county median income.
Based upon federal and state requirements, priority will be given to households with an income at or below 50% of the median income, those with an individual who has been unemployed for more than 90 days, or those that are already in the eviction process. Household income will be determined by using the household’s 2020 annual income or currentmonthly income at the time of application.
South Carolina residents in 39 counties are eligible to participate in SC Stay Plus. The following seven counties were directly funded by the U.S. Treasury and will operate their own assistance programs, so residents of these seven counties should apply to their county program at this time: Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg. Details about these programs can also be found at SCHousing.com.
Funding for the program is made available by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as part of a $25 billion rental and utility assistance package in theConsolidated Appropriations Act that Congress passed in December 2020. South Carolina lawmakers passed and Gov. McMaster signed a joint resolution (R.26/ H.3770) in April to outline how the funds should be distributed in the Palmetto State.
About SC Housing
SC Housing is a self-sustaining housing finance agency committed to ensuring that South Carolinians have the opportunity to live in safe, decent and affordable housing. Agency operations are supported by a funding base that includes fees and other revenue earned through the administration of agency programs. For more information, visit SCHousing.com.