Trident United Way predicts surge in assistance claims soon as federal eviction moratorium nixed by Supreme Court

UPDATE: AUG. 27, 2021 -  The Supreme Court on Aug. 26 blocked the Biden administration's Covid-related eviction moratorium.

"Congress was on notice that a further extension would almost surely require new legislation, yet it failed to act in the several weeks leading up to the moratorium's expiration," the court wrote in an unsigned, eight-page opinion.

"If a federally imposed eviction moratorium is to continue, Congress must specifically authorize it," the court said.

Essentially the moratorium is gone. Trident United Way urges tenants behind on rent to immediately seek rental assistance by calling our 211 helpline and also work with landlords on payment arrangements. Help is available by calling our 2-1-1 helpline or our Resource Connection Centers in Berkeley and Dorchester Counties.

Original news release from July 29 below:

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – A one-month extension of the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire this Saturday, July 31. Trident United Way policy experts unfortunately predict a surge in assistance claims as people behind on rent may soon face eviction.

Evictions are reaching a crisis stage in South Carolina and the Tri-County as the numbers show.

Evictions by the numbers

  • Nationally, 11 million Americans are behind on rent, totaling $57 billion
  • Nearly 1 in 4 people behind on rent in S.C. - average $3,300 past due
  • SC has 2nd highest percentage of people behind rent in U.S. – only Mississippi is higher
  • Tri-County past due rents estimated at $60 million
  • In Charleston County, 18% of tenants are behind on rent - average $4,175 past due
  • Click here for more Charleston County stats from Eviction Lab

Sources: Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, Charleston Pro Bono, National Apartment Assoc.

Click below for downloadable soundbites from Jonathan Rauh/Trident United Way VP of Public Policy

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4n8ucnoeds18gpp/July31Rentissue.mp4?dl=0

Soundbite 1: (100,000 people rent in the Tri-County) “So with 15 % of those being in arrears with an average of $4,000 in arrears, that comes out to about $60 million dollars in total amount in arrears.” :13

Soundbite 2: (If a tenant is in process for rental assistance)  “Let your landlords know because the landlords are better off because they do get paid and the tenants are better off because they do get to stay in their units.” :12

Calls to our 211 Helpline continue to be high. Tri-County rent assistance referrals have gone up from 21% in May to 27% in June, which is a close second to utility requests which accounted for 29% of June referrals.

Trident United Way’s 211 Helpline and Resource Connection Centers are two methods for people who need help. Trident United Way can navigate clients through the federal rental assistance process, which is available only online to applicants. Our staff can also make sure the proper forms are submitted and deadlines are met.

Economic needs will continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Rauh estimates the largest sector in our area: hospitality, is currently employing 10,000 less people than pre-pandemic numbers. Rauh also estimates Tri-County unemployment is nearly 2.5% higher than it was pre-pandemic (4.3% now vs 1.9% in 2019).

Trident United Way recommends tenants who are behind on rent to work with their landlords for some form of payment planning. Past due rent amounts still need to be paid unless both parties reach a settlement.

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 more than 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.