Nearly one in four people in South Carolina are past due on rent - 2nd highest percentage in U.S
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Policy experts at Trident United Way are predicting a surge in assistance claims if the Centers for Disease Control eviction moratorium ends on June 30 unless there is a last-ditch push to extend it.
Calls to our 211 Helpline continue to be at record totals, up 31% for the Tri-County compared with May 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing. Rent assistance makes up 21% of those requests, second only to utility assistance at 32%.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, South Carolina has the second highest percentage of people behind on rent at 23%. Only Mississippi ranks higher at 26%. It’s estimated more than 11 million Americans are behind on rent.
Click below for downloadable soundbites from Jonathan Rauh/Trident United Way VP of Public Policy
SOUNDBITE 1 “If we consider our average 211 calls for rental assistance over the past few months then you’re looking at a conservative estimate of about three percent of renters in the Tri-County being affected, that’s about 2,700 people and that’s a conservative estimate.” :18
SOUNDBITE 2 “The needs we saw in 2020 are going to persist into 2021, you are still going to have individuals who are going to need rent assistance, utility assistance, those needs aren’t going to go away. As the economy does start to come back, people may be going into jobs that are lower paying than before, that were not in the same field, so the types of needs they have may change as well but we do expect those numbers to keep on rising.” :27
Trident United Way’s 211 Helpline and Resource Connection Centers are two methods people can reach out for help. Rental assistance funds are available in Charleston and Berkely Counties and Trident United Way can help navigate clients through the process.
While COVID-19 numbers are falling, the economic effects in the Tri-County will not go away soon, Rauh says. He estimates the largest sector in our area: hospitality, is 10,000 jobs below pre-pandemic numbers.
Trident United Way recommends tenants who are behind on rent to work with their landlords for some payment planning. Past due rent amounts still need to be paid, no matter the outcome of the eviction moratorium.
Supporting Trident United Way with a donation is one way you can help those who need assistance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Trident United Way served 50,000 families and as the analysis shows, the needs will continue as we work to Live United during this challenging time.
About Trident United Way - Celebrating more than 76 years of service, Trident United Way is a catalyst for measurable community transformation in education, financial stability and health. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, United Way is America’s favorite charity. Learn more at tuw.org.