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05/21/2020

ECHO Announces Eviction Prevention Assistance Program

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Current funding is in place to help northeastern South Carolina residents struggling to make rent and facing eviction, and new additional funding has been announced to help residents facing eviction due to COVID-19 related issues. The new funding was created by the CARES Act to be included as part of a temporary expansion of the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG). Additional funding is also available for Veterans facing eviction through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant.

Both programs are being offered locally by the Eastern Carolina Housing Organization (ECHO) to help families and individuals facing eviction to stay in their homes.

South Carolina courts temporarily suspended evictions through May 14, when the moratorium is lifted many will still owe rent and be facing eviction. The current and new funding will provide financial relief for
people who are facing eviction and who are experiencing abrupt economic hardship, including landlords.

"One of the most important things we can do to prevent homelessness is to keep people housed in the first place," said Joey Smoak, CEO of ECHO. "Our goal is that no one gets forced out of their home because they lost income due to COVID-19. These programs will help to keep our community members safely and stably housed through this challenging time."

Assistance may be available to households facing eviction:

  • Whose primary residence is a rental unit located within ECHO's 13-county service area: Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter, and Williamsburg,
  • And who meet eligibility requirements, including income.

Application for assistance will be available on May 15 via an online application system accessible from ECHO's website at www.echousing.org/get-help. Interested applicants who do not have computer access or a smart phone can call the ECHO Access Point at 843-213-1798 to complete an application over the telephone.

All applicants will be screened for eligibility and will be asked to provide documentation including:

  • Verification of household income, and
  • Either a Magistrate's Court Order of Eviction or a letter from their landlord stating the applicant is behind on rent and will be evicted within 14 days.

About ECHO: Eastern Carolina Housing Organization is a non-profit agency committed to breaking the cycles of homelessness experienced by individuals and families in the 13 northeastern counties of South Carolina.

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