INDIAN LAND, SC (WBTV) — For weeks, WBTV has been telling you about the sticker shock of people struggling to pay rent in the Carolinas. A viewer contacted WBTV about South Carolina promising financial aid, then didn’t give it.
Now he’s struggling to figure out what to do as he faces eviction.
It’s been going on for four months now, so WBTV tried to talk to SC housing to find out why there is even a heist to begin with.
“At this point, I feel like I’ve been scammed,” said the person, who asked to remain anonymous due to the situation.
This person is tidying up what’s left of his nearly empty apartment. He risks deportation.
“I lost my job. Luckily I was able to pay my rent for a few months,” he said. assistance.”
The search led him to SC Housing’s rental assistance program called Stay SC Plus.
He says he applied in April, was approved the same month, and was due four months’ rent, or about $10,000. Her utilities were paid for by the program, but her rent was not.
“I’ve always been the type of person to pay my bills,” he says. “I have never been expelled before. Just dealing with my unfortunate circumstance of losing my job and having to wait for SC Stay is the situation I find myself in.
His call logs and emails show that he has not only sat around waiting, but any communication with SC Housing over the past three months still leaves him empty-handed.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s nerve-wracking, but unfortunately that’s my reality,” he said.
For answers, WBTV reached out to Renaye Long with SC Housing. She told me up front that she couldn’t discuss the details of this case.
I asked how the situation could have come to this. She responded by saying that all situations are so individualized that it’s hard to tell exactly what could have gone wrong.
However, some of the reasons things could go wrong include the check being delayed, the person not having all the updated information in the portal, or an application being reviewed.
“It’s a generic question that I can’t answer in a generic way, but I can say there’s some support that they don’t just have to rely on the call center,” said declared Long.
There were not many answers to our questions about this whole situation. Our anonymous tenant says he and the property managers have contacted several times to rectify the situation.
WBTV asked why someone would have to reach out multiple times to have their request heard and was it also concerned that someone could be deported despite being an accepted candidate. Long answered these questions by recalling the many resources they have to help those in difficulty.
WBTV also asked him when the payments were due.
The answer was 45 days.
SC Housing first tries to send the money to the landlords or the property management company so that everything can be managed. There are electronic and paper check options. If the landlord doesn’t want the money from SC Housing, the agency sends it directly to the tenants so they can pay the rent themselves.
Long-mentioned supports include in-person meetings at your county’s SC housing center and case management teams that treat applicants individually. The call center is also accessible with hours until 9 p.m. so people can have a better chance of catching up with someone even after work.
She also says that supervisors check certain calls to ensure that the quality of work is still up to par and that candidates’ needs are taken into account. They have also expanded their call center to help more people. The agency also hosts statewide pop-ups with resources to help people.
There are also tips people can use to improve their situation:
- Renters are encouraged to work with their landlords to complete their SC Stay Plus application process
- SC Stay Plus program staff work diligently to keep landlords (and tenants) informed of the status of their application throughout the review process. While the program has a strong outreach component to both parties, applicants must also keep their landlord informed throughout the process.
- Tenants who have questions about their application can always call the call center at 803-336-3420, MF, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. for assistance. Representatives are trained to provide status updates, clarify program information, and provide general assistance to help the caller complete their application. Call center staff can also provide payment status updates.
- Tenants can also receive assistance in person at SC Stay Plus In-Person Applicant Support Centers in their local communities.
- Support in Spanish is available at the call center and at designated in-person Applicant Support Centers in the community.
- Applicants can also check the status of their application online. The SC Stay Plus Application Portal includes a “Check Application Status” feature to provide tenants with up-to-date information about their application. This page includes an overview of the different application statuses (with definitions) to help applicants better understand where they are in the process. This page can also provide confirmation on documents that have been uploaded to the portal.
“Helping people stay in the homes they have is very, very important. It’s important to them. It’s important to the kids in the forms of continuity. We understand the benefits,” Long said.
She says they constantly change the way they serve their candidates by listening to feedback, good and bad.
And as for the anonymous tenant, WBTV learns that he will be getting help from SC Housing with his situation.
“It’s the improvements we’re making to the process so applicants can feel supported,” she said. “I want to put that person in touch with the staff so they can talk to them specifically about their situation.”
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