SAMMERVILLE – About 80 needy families in Summerville will benefit from additional financial assistance from the city.
Summerville plans to offer residents up to six months of help with rent, mortgages and utilities through its Summerville Home to Stay program. The maximum amount for each family is $ 7,500.
The service is part of a community development grant program funded under the CARES Act, the federal coronavirus relief law. The city will have over $ 400,000 to allocate through the relief program.
As the organizers expect to help 75 families, funds will be provided on a first come, first served basis.
“The money just sits there waiting to be used,” said P.J. Harbert, a city grant writer.
This came after many families in South Carolina and the United States as a whole faced new financial hardships as they recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. To help, a federal eviction pause was issued.
On June 24, it was announced that the eviction deadline would be extended by one month, giving people more time to benefit from rental assistance programs.
Residents of the Summerville area are also not immune from financial difficulties. John Michael Stagliano is the founder of Home Again, a non-profit organization.
The organization supplies furniture and household items to people emerging from homelessness. According to him, recently the organization has seen a noticeable influx of people who turn to them for help.
In Summerville, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance reports that low-income households spend 71 percent of their income on housing and transportation.
“It was difficult for everyone,” Stagliano said.
But in addition to the new rental assistance program, Summerville residents have access to free housing counseling on the second Tuesday of every month through the Charleston Trident City League.
The program also offers advice on building financial assets.
“The reason most people are fighting the pandemic is because they didn’t have any assets,” said Ota Meadows, president and CEO of the league.
With regard to the Summerville Rental Assistance Program, it will be operated in partnership with Origin SC, a professional non-profit organization providing financial and housing advice. A non-profit organization will help residents with the registration of applications.
Residents can also email Kharbert at firstname.lastname@example.org for any additional questions. The city will also pay directly to utilities and landlords.
To qualify for assistance, applicants must reside within the legal boundaries of the City of Summerville. Households must also have an average income of 80 percent or less.
In the Dorchester County area the median household income is US $ 82,100.… Officials estimate up to 100 calls a day, while they can help approximately 60 families.
“As soon as the money was gone, it was gone,” Harbert said. “If you need it, you have to do it right at the gate.”
Officials said they hope to begin accepting applications by July 16.
Reach Jerrell Floyd by phone 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @ jfloyd134.