The South Carolina Housing and Finance Development Authority has provided increased funding in order to keep the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program operating. This is a program that is being managed by the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging (LGOA) and it focuses on helping senior citizens with their housing needs.
The program was established and funded by a grant that was provided from the federal government and the South Carolina Housing and Finance Development Authority. The funds are limited and will be paid out on a first come-served basis. The Emergency Rental Assistance program provides short term rent assistance assistance to low-income seniors age 55 and older across the state. It benefits people living on a fixed income such as a pension, disability, and others that meet income limitations. Also note the age requirement is mandatory, and help is only for older adults.
It is important to note that the program cannot provide long-term housing assistance to seniors, but what it can do is help the elderly get through a difficult period in their lives. It can assist by providing up to $1,500.00 that will be sent directly to the property owner/landlord to pay for overdue rent or housing expenses.
There are several conditions that must be met in order to be eligible for the ERA program. The most important is the age requirement, in that only residents over the age of 55 can apply. These include an applicant must:
-Currently have a gross household income at or below 120% of the current federal government and SC HHS Poverty Guidelines.
-The applicant must also rent or lease his/her primary place of residence in the state of South Carolina.
-Be 55 years of age or older and be a senior or elderly.
-Maybe most importantly, they need to be financially able to meet normal rental obligations after the emergency situation has passed and after the $1500 has been paid out.
Even if this does not meet the needs of the client, they still have other options available to them. South Carolina families can find additional rent assistance programs. Click here.
The senior applying must have a need for assistance that is due to a situation that was unexpected, a crisis or a 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.
The South Carolina Housing and Finance Development Authority Rental Assistance program is not a charity program, and that means that an applicant routinely not having enough money to pay regular rent or bills is not an emergency and their application will not be considered. An exception may be unless there is a pending, expected change, such as Social Security/SSI payments starting or increasing, a decrease in income, moving to a less expensive home, an adult child or roommate moving in to help with finances, etc.
If more sustainable assistance is needed, then the Housing and Finance Development Authority can provide referrals to senior citizens as well as retirees in the state. For those that need it, long-term housing assistance programs are managed by regional Housing Authorities.
Please note that funding comes and goes, and the money available has expired for this program. However seniors who are interested in other emergency rental assistance programs that may be available in can call agencies in their local county. Find information on other South Carolina rent assistance resources. Or please dial (803) 896-8888, which is the South Carolina Housing Authority.
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