In early 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This law created a Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal program, to give around $10 billion to the states to help households that are behind on their mortgages and other housing expenses due to COVID-19.
Eligible homeowners in South Carolina who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get some of the approximately $145 million allocated to the state by applying to the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners make mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs, like overdue property taxes and utility bills.
What Housing Costs Does the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program Cover?
You can use money from the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program to pay:
delinquent property taxes, homeowners' association fees, and utilities, and
government or nonprofit down payment assistance loans.
Eligibility Requirements for the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program
To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a financial hardship (a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses) that began or continued after January 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
You also have to meet these guidelines:
The property must be in South Carolina.
Your household income must be less than 150% of the area median income or 100% of the national median income ($79,900) per year, whichever is greater. You can use this calculator to determine if you meet income eligibility requirements.
You must own and occupy the property as your primary residence. Single-family homes (attached or detached), condos, one- to four-unit properties if you live in one as your primary residence, and manufactured/mobile homes are eligible. Second homes, investment properties, and vacant properties don't qualify.
You can't have received the same assistance from another federal, state, local, or tribal source.
How to Apply for the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program
Go online to register and complete your application. You'll have to provide some documentation with your application, like a valid, government-issued photo ID, proof of homeownership, mortgage statements or statements for your other housing-related costs, and proof of income, such as the previous year's tax return or W-2.
How Long Will the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program Last?
The program is expected to be available through September 30, 2026, but could close earlier if the allocated money runs out. So, if you think you might qualify for assistance, it's best to apply as soon as possible.
Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams
Be wary if you get an unsolicited offer by phone, mail, email, or text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services. Scammers are increasingly targeting homeowners who've been affected by COVID-19. Homeowner Assistance Fund programs are free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or to receive foreclosure prevention services from this program, it's a scam.
Learn More About the South Carolina Homeowner Rescue Program
If you have questions or need help with your application, call 803-702-5222. You may also get help from a HUD-approved housing counselor who will assist you at no cost. To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.