Govan: ‘Help is here’ amid COVID pandemic; rental assistance, schools discussed during forum | Government & Politics


Bonita Shropshire, Executive Director of SC Housing, advocates for the SC Stay Plus rental, utility assistance program at the District 95 Town Hall meeting hosted by State Rep. Jerry Govan.

Shropshire noted that the federal government made $272 million available to S.C. Housing to assist rural tenants and renters.

“The larger, urban areas got direct assistance themselves, so I can’t operate in Richland County or Greenville, Spartanburg, Horry, Charleston County,” she said.

“I am operating in Orangeburg and Chester and Barnwell and in the smaller, rural communities where it may be harder to spread the word because we live a little farther apart from each other and we’re all in the middle of a pandemic,” she added.

“Even if you don’t need assistance, I’m sure someone you know does,” Shropshire said.

S.C. Stay Plus will pay up to 12 months of back rent, known as “arrearages,” to the extent that funds are available.

According to the program’s website, “Rent arrears through March 13, 2020 will be paid first, with up to three months of future rental assistance available through December 2021, if the renter is at risk of experiencing homelessness.”

Awards will be made to eligible households on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted, according to the website.

“We’ve got to hit our faith-based organizations, that’s how we’ve got to get the word out about our program,” Shropshire said.