South Carolina rent assistance claims expected to surge pending eviction moratorium ending

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Trident United Way predicts an increase in eviction assistance claims if the Center for Disease Control eviction moratorium ends on June 30.

With nearly one in four people in South Carolina behind on rent, up to 31 percent of calls to the 211 Helpline were for the Tri-County area compared to May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was extant.

“If we consider our average 211 calls for rental assistance over the past few months then you’re looking at a conservative estimate of about three percent of renters in the Tri-County being affected, that’s about 2,700 people and that’s a conservative estimate,” says Jonathan Rauh, Trident United Way Vice President of Public Policy.

Figures from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show that South Carolina ranks second nationally for the highest percentage of people behind on rent, at 23 percent. Mississippi ranks number one at 26 percent.

No matter the outcome of the moratorium, past due rent amounts still need to be paid. Trident United Way tenants are suggested to make payment arrangements with their landlords if they are behind on rent.

“The needs we saw in 2020 are going to persist into 2021, you are still going to have individuals who are going to need rent assistance, utility assistance, those needs aren’t going to go away,” says Rauh. “As the economy does start to come back, people may be going into jobs that are lower paying than before, that were not in the same field, so the types of needs they have may change as well but we do expect those numbers to keep on rising.” 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Trident United Way has helped over 26,000 families.

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