SUMMERVILLE – Nearly 80 families in need in Summerville will have the possibility of additional financial assistance from the city.
Summerville plans to offer up to six months of rent, mortgage and utility payment assistance to residents through its âSummerville Home to Stayâ program. The maximum amount for each household is $ 7,500.
The service is part of a block grants program for community development funded by the CARES Act, a federal coronavirus assistance bill. The city will have more than $ 400,000 to distribute as part of the aid program.
With the organizers expecting to help 75 households, funds will be disbursed on a first come, first served basis.
“The money is waiting to be used,” said PJ Harbert, editor of the city grants.
The program comes after many families in South Carolina and the United States faced further financial hardship recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. To help, a federal pause on evictions has been issued.
On June 24, it was announced that the moratorium on evictions would be extended by one month, giving people more time to take advantage of rental assistance programs.
Residents of the Summerville area have not been immune to financial hardship either. John Michael Stagliano is the founder of the nonprofit Home Again.
The organization provides furniture and household items to people coming out of homelessness. Recently, he said the organization has seen a noticeable influx of people asking them for help.
In Summerville, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance reports that low-income households spend 71% of their income on shelter and transportation.
“It was difficult for everyone,” said Stagliano.
In addition to the new Housing Assistance Program, residents of the Summerville area have access to free housing advice on the second Tuesday of each month through the Charleston Trident Urban League.
The program also offers advice on building financial assets.
âThe reason most people are battling the pandemic is because they had no assets,â said Otha Meadows, the league’s president and CEO.
Summerville’s rent assistance program will be carried out in partnership with Origin SC, a non-profit professional financial advisory and housing organization. The association will help residents organize applications.
Residents should email Harbert at [email protected] with any questions. The city will also pay utility companies and landlords directly.
To qualify for assistance, applicants must live within the legal limits of the City of Summerville. Households must also have a region’s median income of 80 percent or less.
In the Dorchester County area, the median family income is $ 82,100. The authorities estimate up to 100 calls a day while only being able to help about 60 families.
âOnce the money is gone, it’s gone,â Harbert said. âIf you need it, you have to do it from the start. “
Officials said they hoped to start accepting nominations by July 16.
Reach Jerrel floyd at 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @ jfloyd134.