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SC Housing launches rental and mortgage assistance program

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SC Housing has launched a $25 million rental and mortgage assistance program designed to help residents facing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualified applicants for the SC Stay program may receive up to $7,500 for six consecutive months of short-term rental and mortgage assistance, according to a news release. The funds may be used for back rent to February 2020 and/or for future rent payments.

Assistance is available to families or individuals who certify their income is at or below 80% of county median income requirements (.pdf) and demonstrate that they are unable to pay part or all of their rent or mortgage, or are behind on those payments, because of circumstances stemming from COVID-19. Applicants must also have landlords or lenders confirm their past-due status and be willing to accept payment on their behalf.

“Affordable, safe and decent housing is a basic human need, and never has that been made more clear than during this COVID-19 pandemic,” Bonita Shropshire, executive director of SC Housing, said in the release. “We know that tens of thousands of South Carolinians have and continue to be impacted by this health and financial crisis. Our hope is that this assistance will help more people remain in their homes during this critical time.”

To begin the application process, visit http://scstay.org or call 833-985-2929. Following an initial screening, one of SC Housing’s contract processing agencies will reach out to applicants to complete the process. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until program funding is exhausted.

The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program – Coronavirus funds and is part of the CARES Act. The S.C. Department of Commerce distributes the federal funds and requested that SC Housing serve as the lead agency for rental and mortgage assistance payments for residents affected by COVID-19, according to the release.

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