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As the federal moratorium on evictions ends, resources are available in South Carolina

The federal moratorium is ending, but SC-based organizations are working to connect at-risk tenants to resources.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Supreme Court is ending the federal moratorium that was protecting at-risk tenants from being evicted during the coronavirus pandemic. 

For those facing eviction in South Carolina, there are resources available for persons seeking assistance. 

South Carolina Housing is actively accepting applicants for its emergency rental and utility assistance program. Since May, the program has helped over 4,000 households receive $17 million in assistance.

“We continue to want to help more people, there are more funds available,” said Chris Winston of SC Housing. "We want to help as many people as possible stay in their homes and if somebody says they are displaced or they are evicted from their homes, we have resources available to help them find new safe housing as well."

The latest numbers, according to Precision Covid, show 25% of households in Richland County are behind on rent with over $50 million owed. In Lexington County, the numbers are 21% of households owing $16 million.

“I had someone call and they are currently homeless, right, they currently don’t have anywhere to go," said NAACP Housing Navigator Dr. Janelle Robinson. "Those are the situations in which you may be on the phone for an hour because you’re trying to help them identify resources.” 

The NAACP housing navigators have connected over 100 people to emergency rental and utility assistance. Midlands Mutual Aid has been connecting people as well.

“All of us have been working really hard and diligently at connecting people, connecting with them,  and connecting them to resources and checking back with them and making sure they were able to connect with those resources themselves,” said Midlands Mutual Aid community organizer Dylan Gunnels.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to be stigmatized and I certainly know that that's easier said than done. But there is funding available. There are resources out there. There are pro-bono attorneys who are willing to help. The help is there."

SC Housing, Midlands Mutual Aid, and Columbia NAACP can be contacted online.