COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Friday, May 15 a South Carolina Supreme Court order postponing evictions and foreclosures will expire. The ruling was in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downfalls that have come with it.
The state order initially expired May 1, but was extended to May 15. Still, there are some protections in place for families under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act, legislation passed by the federal government offering emergency relief in response to COVID-19.
The protections do not eliminate your rent payment and is not an excuse to avoid paying if you can.
In South Carolina, the Supreme Court ruling made it so that all eviction and foreclosure proceedings were put on hold. Friday, those proceedings can continue.
Again, some families will still be protected under the CARES Act, which says families renting from owners who have a federally insured mortgage, families who live in subsidized housing or receive federally subsidized vouchers cannot be evicted through July 24.
This protection covers the 6,000 Midlands families served by the Columbia Housing Authority (CHA).
“The burdens that people have faced with loss of income in their households, we’ve seen a tremendous uptick in the number of people who have called our offices asking for rental assistance to help them pay their rent. The families that we serve here at Columbia Housing, they all have protections under the CARES Act. Many of the families that we serve work in those industry jobs where they were shut down for some significant time frame,” said CHA Interim Director Ivory Mathews.
Families with the CHA who are suffering from a loss or reduction in income are being given vouchers to ensure they’re still able to make their rental payments. It’s a process that also guarantees many landlords continue to receive payment.
Mathews tells WIS-TV that, “When a family loses income, what we do is we immediately address their loss of income through increasing the amount of rental subsidy that we provide to the families on a monthly basis, and so our goal is to continue make sure that the landlord is being paid the full amount of rent. We understand that a number of our landlords, I imagine, have mortgages to pay on their rental properties.”
The CHA has recently received about $1.8 million in funding from the CARES Act.
Unless a new order is passed, come July 24, it’s possible that even families protected under the CARES Act will be subject to eviction proceedings, but the tenant must be given a 30-day notice, essentially protecting families through the end of August.
Additionally, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced Thursday that they will be extending their eviction and foreclosure moratorium single-family borrowers through June 30.
For those needing assistance, a newly created one-stop-shop website has been created to provide relief options.
To access that website click here.