The South Carolina Housing and Finance Development Authority offers assistance to residents across the state to keep them in their homes as they age. The ERA program helps people who are over 55 years old, as well as the elderly and seniors. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging is managing a program to help senior citizens with their housing needs.
The program was established with a grant from the federal government, who were working in partnership with the South Carolina Housing and Finance Development Authority. This means that there is a limited amount of money available, and it will be given to people who ask for it first.
The Emergency Rental Assistance program provides financial assistance to low-income seniors age 55 and older who are struggling to pay rent. This program is available statewide. This allows them to have a safe and affordable place to live. It also helps to create a sense of community for residents. Only adults age 65 and older are eligible for assistance, and help is only available to older adults.
This program is not meant to provide long-term housing assistance to seniors, but it can help them through a difficult period in their lives. The fund can provide $1,500 to go directly to the property owner or landlord to pay for past-due rent or housing expenses. It is often combined with other low-income housing.
How to be eligible for the SC Emergency Rental Assistance program
There are several requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the ERA program. The age requirement is the most important aspect of this, as only residents over the age of 55 can apply. To apply, you must:
I am currently earning an income that is 120% or below the amount set by the federal government as the poverty line.
The applicant must also have their primary place of residence in the state of South Carolina, either through renting or leasing.
To be eligible, you must be 55 years of age or older and be considered a senior or elderly citizen.
Most importantly, the tenants should be able to financially meet their normal rental obligations after the emergency situation has passed and after they have paid out the $1500.
Even though this option might not be what the client wants, they still have other choices. The South Carolina government has put in place rent assistance programs to help families with rent payments. A combination of loans and government resources may help. If you need help paying your rent, there are programs that can give you cash or loans.
Short term rent help
The senior applying must be in a need of assistance due to an unexpected crisis or temporary situation and the emergency needs to be resolved. So the assistance is one time only and then the tenant needs to pay future rental costs on their own.
This program is not a charity program, so if an applicant doesn’t have enough money to pay regular rent or bills, that is not an emergency and their application will not be considered. An exception may be made if there is an upcoming or expected change, such as an increase in Social Security/SSI payments, a decrease in income, moving to a less expensive home, or an adult child or roommate moving in to help with finances.
The Housing and Finance Development Authority can provide referrals to senior citizens and retirees who need more sustainable assistance. There are regional Housing Authorities that manage long-term housing assistance programs for those that need it.
The money for this program has run out. However, seniors who are interested in other emergency rental assistance programs that may be available in their local area can call agencies in their county. I would like to find information on other rent assistance resources in South Carolina. To reach the South Carolina Housing Authority, please dial (803) 896-8888 or (803) 896-9001.