CARES Act funding to help those facing eviction



The financial strain for many has been heavy since COVID-19 began affecting daily life, and a nonprofit committed to breaking cycles of homelessness in northeastern South Carolina wants to help those facing eviction.

Funding created by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act as part of a temporary expansion of the Emergency Solutions Grant will provide direct economic support to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts. Additional funding is also available for veterans facing eviction through Supportive Services for Veteran Families.

Eastern Carolina Housing Organization is using the funding from the two programs to help individuals and families facing eviction in the 13 counties it serves.

"Housing stability is critical to the health and well-being of our community. Our mission is to break the cycles of homelessness, and these programs will help prevent people from becoming homeless because they lost income and couldn't pay their rent," said Joey Smoak, CEO of ECHO.

Both programs are being offered by ECHO for households whose primary residence is a rental unit in the nonprofit's service area of Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Sumter and Williamsburg. Households also must meet other eligibility requirements, including income limits.

Applications are available online at Interested applicants who do not have computer access or a smart phone can call the ECHO Access Point at (843) 213-1798 to complete an application over the phone.

All applicants will be screened for eligibility and will be asked to provide documentation, including verification of household income and either a Magistrate's Court Order of Eviction or a letter from their landlord stating the applicant is behind on rent and will be evicted within 21 days.