SC Housing Newsletter

September/October 2021

Thousands of South Carolina residents seek relief as eviction moratorium ends on August 30

Thousands of South Carolina residents seek relief as eviction moratorium ends on August 30

In an effort to combat pending evictions and make landlords whole from lost revenue over the past year, SC Housing launched SC Stay Plus, a $272 million emergency rental assistance program, in May 2021. Funding for the program is made available by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

To date, the SC Stay Plus program has received over 20,000 applications from impacted families who are now in a race against time to stay in their homes. In August, SC Housing took advantage of increased flexibility in federal requirements to simplify the application process in order to get payments out to landlords and tenants more quickly. The following program changes are now in effect:

  • Relaxed documentation: Applicants can now “self-attest” to certain information instead of providing detailed documentation, making the application process simpler and faster.
  • Extended call center support: The program extended its call center hours into the evenings and added staff in order to reduce wait times. Applicants can now get help with applying or check on their application by calling 1.803.336.3420 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.
  • Improved accessibility and in-person support: In-person application support was added at libraries in Beaufort, Pickens, Lancaster, McCormick, Aiken and Marlboro counties. To find a nearby location in your area, visit the SC Stay Plus website. New locations are being added in communities throughout the state.

As of Sept. 15, SC Stay Plus had distributed more than $22 million to households in 39 eligible counties (see full list here). Applications for this program are still open and funds are still available.

Renters facing housing instability (e.g. eviction) or homelessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for rental assistance, utility assistance, as well as other housing expenses if they have already lost their home. Other housing-related expenses include fees, moving costs, reimbursement for hotel expenses and move-in costs.

In February 2021, SC Housing launched SC Stay, a separate rental and mortgage assistance program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the S.C. Department of Commerce. As of Sept. 15, SC Stay had dispersed nearly $10 million in payments to landlords on behalf of tenants. This program is closed to new applications.


SC Housing's Shropshire joins forum with local, national leaders

SC Housing's Director joins forum with local, national leaders

Local, state and federal health and housing leaders gathered in Columbia on August 30 to discuss the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impending rise of evictions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end the federal eviction moratorium.

SC Housing Executive Director Bonita Shropshire was one of the participants in a roundtable discussion held at Segra Park. Hosted by Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, the honored guests also included U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, U.S. Housing & Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, White House Senior Policy Advisor for Equity Cameron Webb and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell.

The hour-long event included updates on COVID-19’s impact on South Carolina, including updated vaccination figures and updates from health, housing and education advocates on their work to combat the pandemic’s wide-ranging impacts on the state.


SC Housing partners with community groups
for eviction prevention

SC Housing partners with community groups for eviction prevention

With the likelihood of evictions on the rise throughout South Carolina,
SC Housing has partnered with a number of community organizations, governmental agencies, businesses and political leaders to increase awareness of the SC Stay Plus rental and utility assistance program and help impacted individuals and families find the help needed to stay in their homes.

Starting in August, several county libraries around the state agreed to host in-person application support centers so local residents could receive help completing applications. These centers opened in several counties where applications were lagging, including Beaufort, Lancaster, Pickens, McCormick, Aiken and Marlboro counties.

In mid-September, clinics were held in Barnwell and Ridgeland to help residents learn about the program and complete applications. Sponsors included the Antioch Education Center, Charleston Law School, Lowcountry Legal Volunteers, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, Nelson Mullins LLP, University of South Carolina School of Law and First Baptist Church Barnwell. Dominion Energy was also on-hand at both clinics to help applicants needing utility help.

Helping SC Housing get the word out about the SC Stay Plus program have been several state and national political leaders. S.C. Rep. Jerry Govan and S.C. Rep. Wendy Brawley invited SC Housing to present to town hall meetings held in Orangeburg, Richland and Sumter counties. And U.S. Rep. Tom Rice met with John Tyler, SC Housing director for housing initiatives and innovation, and shared information about the program in a press release to educate Pee Dee residents.

SC Housing also:

  • Joined a Sept. 14 meeting with the Colleton County School District to educate teachers, administrators and support staff about the programs available to those in danger of eviction or already displaced;
  • Joined Columbia Housing and Richland County to present an update on the emergency rental assistance programs to landlords; and
  • Presented information about the program to the legal services community through a collaboration with Access to Justice.
  • Will present on Oct. 4 to the S.C. Association of Clerks of Court and Register of Deeds about the SC Stay Plus rental and utility assistance program.

Save the Date: SC Housing to celebrate 50th anniversary

Save the Date: SC Housing to celebrate 50th anniversary

SC Housing will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a virtual event on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m.

The 50th anniversary celebration kicked off in February with the theme “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: A Journey of Hope.” The anniversary celebration will continue with a focus on the people who have helped the agency accomplish its mission of providing safe, decent and affordable housing.

As a part of the event, inspirational speaker Chris Singleton will share his story of resilience and unity. Singleton is a former baseball player for the Chicago Cubs organization and began motivational speaking after the loss of his mother in the 2015 Mother Emanuel Church Tragedy in Charleston, S.C.

For more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/south-carolina-housing-to-celebrate-50th-anniversary-tickets-176511549797. We look forward to you taking part in this milestone event for the agency.


SC Housing recognizes valued lending partners

SC Housing recognizes valued lending partners

Lending partners are essential to the success of SC Housing’s homeownership programs, and the agency recently recognized these partners with annual lender awards based on overall loan production and quality:

  • SC Housing named Guild Mortgage as its loan production Lender of the Year as an acknowledgment of Guild’s renewed quality and production level during 2020. Guild Mortgage previously won this recognition in 2015 and 2019. In partnership with SC Housing, Guild Mortgage produced total home mortgage lending of $24.5 million, making homeownership a reality for many across the state who might otherwise struggle to build wealth.
  • In addition, Guild Mortgage loan officer Lauren Sawyer Foster was named Loan Officer of the Year.
  • The Lender of the Year for the Mortgage Credit Certificate award was given to Prime Lending, whose production totaled over $5.6 million.
  • Premier Nationwide Lending received Loan Quality Lender of the Year.

“Our first-time homebuyer program would not be possible without the help we receive from private-sector lenders like Guild Mortgage, Prime Lending and Premier Nationwide Lending,” said Steve Clements, director of single-family programs at SC Housing. “Affordable homeownership is a key factor in increasing equity and building wealth within communities, and we are proud of the access our programs provide.”

You can learn more about these dynamic lending partners by visiting our showcase on the SC Housing website.

SC Housing partners with a network of participating lenders across the state to provide down payment assistance and competitive, fixed interest rates to potential homebuyers. Two special programs available include Palmetto Heroes (which recently completed its 2021 program with more than $45 million in loans provided to front-line personnel including teachers, police, firefighters and licensed medical personnel) and County First (which offers $8,500 in down payment assistance to residents of 24 rural South Carolina counties). Find a complete list of SC Housing’s lending partners, including those in your area, at SCHousing.com.

For more information on SC Housing’s homebuyer program, call 803.896.9396 or visit the website: www.schousing.com.


SC Housing prepares upcoming mortgage assistance program

SC Housing prepares upcoming mortgage assistance program

While much of the COVID-19 emergency assistance conversation has focused on helping renters, there is also funding to support homeowners who need assistance.

Following a period of soliciting public comment, SC Housing submitted a proposal to the U.S. Treasury on Aug. 20 for a homeowner assistance program that could provide approximately $145 million in emergency mortgage assistance to South Carolina homeowners.

The SC Housing Mortgage Rescue Program requires approval from the U.S. Treasury before it can open for applications, but interested parties can sign up to be notified when the program opens on the SC Mortgage Rescue Program page of the SC Housing website.


Interested in a career in affordable housing?

Interested in a career in affordable housing?

Are you a hard-working and dedicated individual who would like to help
SC Housing accomplish its mission of ensuring all South Carolinians have access to safe, decent and affordable housing?

Learn more about available positions at SC Housing by visiting our job board to learn what opportunities may be right for you.


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