In order to eligible for any type of eviction help in Spartanburg County or to receive rapid re-housing assistance, the applicant will need to be coming from a transitional housing program/shelter or have an eviction notice. Other criteria around income, employment status, disability, and other factors are reviewed as well. When qualified for a homeless prevention program, everything from free counseling to government grants, relocation services, and more is provided.
The state of South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) works with non-profits such as Piedmont Community Action, the United Way, and local churches to limit homelessness in Spartanburg. Since most applicants have different challenges, the assistance provided to each participant will also vary. Note any help that may be offered is always first come – served, with priority given to certain groups as following.
Various agencies in Spartanburg County coordinate the Homeless Prevention Services. The goal is to always help low income tenants to remain in their current home or apartment. There is a priority for seniors, households with kids, veterans, and the disabled. But anyone can apply. The services are comprehensive. There is intensive counseling given to renters, landlord/tenant mediation to delay or stop the eviction, court advocacy and the possible use of emergency financial assistance from ESG.
Using Housing and Urban Development funds, the Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) supplements local agencies as well as charities in Spartanburg County. Since many of those agencies have their own programs, ESG is above and beyond that. There are a few ways that the HUD program benefits the local eviction prevention services. The federal grants can even help pay to rehouse the client. It can provide for some or all of the following.
There may be some money allocated to pay for lodging in a mass shelter, motel or hotel. This is part of rapid rehousing. When this is available a voucher is usually offered to pay for the hotel. However that will only be available when all of the shelters are (1) either filled to capacity or (2) if the person can't live in a shelter for some reason, such as a serious medical concern. If the hotels in Spartanburg County are too expense (or full) then other options are explored, including providing emergency motel voucher.
Another part of rapid rehousing is assisting with paying some of the costs involved to get the family set up in their new home or apartment. Piedmont Community Action can direct the client to a local attorney to review the lease agreement, and some of the ESG grants can pay for any rental or utility deposit due. There will also be referrals given to furniture banks for household supplies, information on long term benefits such as section 8 vouchers, and much more.
Emergency Solution Grants also provides financial help to stop the eviction. There may be some government funding to pay up to one month’s rent or mortgage payment. Or if the landlord is evicted the Spartanburg County tenant due to an unpaid utility bill, then there may be money for paying electric, cooling, or water costs.
The disabled, medically ill, women fleeing domestic violence and senior citizens in Spartanburg County that are homeless or facing eviction can get help from Supportive Housing. This will also be an option of if someone that needs more assistance (such as home care), and it can be lumped in as part of rehousing.
Office of Economic Opportunity as well as government issued supportive housing funds may be used to provide rental assistance. It can help pay an arrears due to a landlord or the deposit on a new home. In all cases the supportive housing program also incorporates many other services. This can be transportation to a local doctor; case management; classes on landlord-tenant rights; and other resources to stop a recurrence of the eviction.
Mediation, Legal Aid and Advocacy is the last part of eviction prevention and rehousing. This is given by a third party. It may be a local attorney in Spartanburg or a mediator that is approved by the court. This is used to bring all of the challenges to the forefront. Then, based on the mediation process, everything is done to find a solution other than the eviction.
When a tenant is struggling, and has an eviction notice, they can dial 864.585.8183 for referrals to eviction and homeless prevention programs. If in fact the Spartanburg County resident is now homeless, then they too get get information on a rapid rehousing service.
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