SC Stay Plus still taking applications from struggling renters

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By Mike McCombs 

S.C. Housing’s SC Stay Plus assistance program is still taking applications for Beaufort County renters struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, though time is running short. 

Those residents can get in-person, one-on-one support from SC Stay Plus representatives by submitting their application at the Beaufort Branch Library from Monday, Sept. 20 through Thursday, Sept. 30. There will be someone to assist applicants from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

Residents should go to the meeting room on the first floor for assistance. 

The Centers For Disease Control eviction moratorium, ended on Aug. 27, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Evictions can now move forward unless back rent and all fees are paid in full. 

Also, SC Housing recently relaxed its documentation requirements for some applications, including allowing residents in 196 zip codes to simply self-attest to their income rather than provide documentation. Several of those zip codes are in Beaufort County. They are 29920 (St. Helena Island, Fripp Island, Dataw Island, Frogmore and Fort Fremont), 29935 (Port Royal), 29940 (Seabrook, Lobeco, Sheldon, Dale and Coosaw) and 29941 (Sheldon). 

SC Stay Plus provides assistance for renters in three key ways: 

  1. SC Stay Plus will pay up to 12 months of back rent brought on by COVID-19-related financial instability. The money is paid directly to the landlord. 
  2. SC Stay Plus will offer up to three additional months of future rental assistance for those at risk of homelessness or eviction. 
  3. SC Stay Plus will offer utility assistance paid directly to the utility companies for past-due utility and energy costs. 

Applicants are already qualified if they are collecting SNAP, WIC, unemployment benefits or Medicaid. There is no citizenship requirement, and there doesn’t have to be a formal lease. Renters must simply show they are consistently trying to pay rent. 

The SC Stay Plus application can still be accessed online at SCHousing.com/ Home/SC-Stay-Plus. For more information, call 803- 336-3420, 1-800-476-0412 or email scstayplus@schousing. com. 

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.