Seniors in S.C. can get help paying rent

July 15, 2013 

— Applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which is administered through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, are now available.

The Emergency Rental Assistance program is funded through the South Carolina Housing & Finance Development Authority and provides assistance to low-income seniors age 60 and older. The program cannot provide long-term housing assistance, but it can help seniors get through a financially stressed times by providing funding for rent that will be sent directly to the property owner or landlord.

“I am excited to be able to announce the Emergency Rental Assistance program,” Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell said. “It is encouraging that we can provide a helping hand to seniors struggling with emergencies."

To be eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance, an applicant must:

• Be 60 or older

• Rent or lease his/her residence in the state of South Carolina

• Have a gross household income at or below 150 percent of the current HHS Poverty Guidelines

• Be financially able to meet normal rental obligations after the emergency situation has passed

The need for assistance must be due to an emergency situation that is unexpected or temporary and can be resolved. This means that routinely not having enough money to pay regular bills is not an emergency and will not be considered unless there is a pending, expected change, such as Social Security/SSI payments starting or increasing, moving to a less expensive home, an adult child or roommate moving in to help with finances, or an increase in income.

The application for ERA is a simple two-page form that must be accompanied by a copy of a photo ID or driver’s license and proof of income. Also included in the application package is a W-9 (Taxpayer ID) form and Landlord Verification form that must be completed by the landlord or property manager. Detailed instructions and a checklist are provided with the application package.

Applications are available on the LGOA website, www.aging.sc.gov, and may be mailed or faxed directly to the LGOA, though it is recommended that applicants work with and submit applications through their regional Information, Referral and Assistance specialist at their local Aging and Disability Resource Center. These specialists will ensure that applications are completed and submitted properly, and they may also be able to identify additional resources or programs that are available locally. If you need help locating the center nearest to you, call the Office on Aging at 800-868-9095.

For additional information on the Emergency Rental Assistance program, contact Pamela Grant in the Office on Aging at 803-734-9893 or toll-free at 800-868-9095 or at grantp@aging.sc.gov.

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