Households in Horry County that are facing homelessness, whether from an eviction due to unpaid rent or a legal issue with a landlord, can get help from several HUD government funded programs. The resources can not only help low income families, but there is assistance for senior citizens, the disabled, and single parents in the region. There is help for both immigrants and natural citizens as well.
There are several programs that can be called upon, depending on the applicants circumstances. They include Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) for military personnel and veterans facing eviction, section 8 Housing Choice Voucher which can subsidize future rent payments once a family is homeless, and the primary resource, which is Emergency Services Grant (ESG). This last one provides various homeless prevention services ranging from cash grants for paying rent arrears to free legal aid, mediation, and much more.
Any tenant that is threatened with an eviction or that is struggling will need to participate in some form of Self-Sufficiency. This is required so that the family can regain stability. Since any rent help or other support is one time only, if Horry County family does not address the root cause of their crisis then that is a major problem. Note, the agencies will often do a criminal background checks for approving participants.
If a family has some form of legal dispute that may lead to them being evicted from their apartment, then the non-profit that administer the support can arrange for a meeting with an attorney. Each year there are hundreds of renters that require mediation. Maybe the issue was lack of repairs or an unsafe apartment. Other evictions can be caused by the terms of the lease not be followed, or maybe there is a misunderstanding of the terms and conditions. No matter the challenge, free legal aid is arranged.
Lawyers in Myrtle Beach South Carolina will sometimes volunteer their time on a pro-bono basis. Or they will allow one of their paralegals to give guidance. The services they provide will be tailored to stopping the eviction from occurring.
-Mediation – This involves a free meeting with the tenant and landlord to find a solution.
-Information on tenant's responsibilities – The renter will be advised as to what their rights and obligations are when it comes to following the lease terms, paying rent, noise disturbances, and more.
-Illegal evictions – An attorney in Horry County may represent the low income family while they are in court.
-Help in applying for government benefits, such as section 8 vouchers, SSI disability, or other sources of money.
This is the financial component. The federally funded Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will on occasion provide funds to non-profits in the county. The money can be used for paying a variety of rehousing and homeless prevention expenses. Income will be assessed too, and applicants must be below 30% of the median income for Horry County.
Anyone behind on their rent and that has a pay or quit notice from their landlord can receive money from ESG for paying back rent. However the tenant should really be asking for help from a Horry County non-profit much earlier than that. They should not wait until the landlord has started the eviction process.
The increasing number of senior citizens in Myrtle Beach and Horry County can get help as well. One of the main resources is HUD Section 202. The program has a financial component in that grants or vouchers are used for rental expenses, including to stop evictions of a low income adult over the age of 55. The HUD programs also provides other ongoing support around applying for pensions, medical care, and more. The elderly across Horry County are able to get senior housing assistance from section 202.
If funding is available, ESG can pay for housing relocation to move the family into a more affordable home. There may also be short-term rental assistance or funds to pay energy bills. This is all combined with case management. If the applicant is a veteran, then they will be referred to the HUD VASH eviction prevention program.
The homeless in Horry County can apply for rehousing as well, as this is part of the eviction programs. The assistance from ESG for this task is also wide ranging. However, first and foremost the resident needs a source of income and stability in their life.
Some non-profits will use funds to help families to move out of high-poverty areas in Horry County as well. They want a single parent or other client to live in an area with lower crime, more jobs, access to transportation, and better schools. These are all important for ensuring stability and breaking cycle of evictions and homelessness.
Rehousing can provide a free motel voucher to last a day or two for lodging in Myrtle Beach. Other uses of the ESG grants can be for security or utility deposits, credit counseling so the family's scores are good enough to sign a lease, and moving cost assistance.
For more information or referrals, call 843.945.4902. Callers will be given information on application sites in Horry County.
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