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Housing experts fear the worst as CDC eviction moratorium expires on December 31

Housing experts say thousands of South Carolina renters could face homelessness if the eviction moratorium expires.

SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — As the CDC eviction ban is set to expire at the end of the month, experts say thousands will face homelessness in the Palmetto State. 

"In South Carolina, there could be between 99,000 to 182,000 households that are at risk for eviction," said Bryan Grady with the South Carolina Housing Authority

Grady, who is the chief research officer for the S.C. Housing Authority, says the United States Census Bureau developed a Household pulse survey in the early stages of the pandemic to track how it would impact renters.

"The pulse survey found that 26 percent of renters were not current on their rent," Grady explained. "Thirty-two percent of renters said it was unlikely they were going to pay next month's rent."

RELATED: CDC continues to halt evictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19

The SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center helps those who may be at risk of eviction among other services.

"When you get served with an eviction, you should request a hearing," said Sue Berkowitz, director of the Appleseed Legal Justice Center. "The landlords are not supposed to move forward with evictions if they have any reason to believe it's COVID-related."

Berkowitz says the moratorium is only for those who cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19-related reasons. The SC Housing Authority says there's $5,000,000 in COVID-19 rental assistance available. Both organizations are encouraging renters who need help to call United Way or Legal Aid

"We're telling people to contact Legal Aid," Berkowitz said. "However, they're so overwhelmed; I'm not sure how many people they're going to be able to help."

RELATED: Despite federal ban, renters still being evicted amid pandemic

"Everyone says there needs to be more rental assistance because tenants need help, and property owners need to pay their mortgages," Grady said. "If there were more federal resources, that would be great."

The SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center director says renters can still request a magistrate court hearing if they get served an eviction notice if the moratorium does expire.

RELATED: Where to get assistance during and after the holidays in the Midlands

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