Low Income Housing Assistance in South Carolina

Housing assistance for single moms in the State of South Carolina

There are multiple housing programs offered to single moms in the state. The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority manage the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program for indigent single parents in the state. It is the state agency, and in short known as SC State Housing. There are 43 housing authorities in the State of South Carolina and each is responsible for a number of counties. These agencies help determine the eligibility requirements for single moms to be approved into the programs.

The SC State Housing is responsible for Fairfield, Kershaw, Colleton, and Dorchester, Clarendon, Lexington and Lee counties. To see other counties and the public housing authorities governing them visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/contacts/states/sc.cfm. This will give you contact details of your local authority to apply with.

There are various assistance programs administered by each public housing authority. Some housing authorities may not administer a full set of assistance programs. For instance, Homeownership Voucher Program (HVP) is not mandatory to be run by all authorities but Housing Choice Voucher program is. Programs are highlighted hereunder;

SC Homeownership and Employment Lending Program (HELP)

This is a program meant for foreclosure prevention since its inception in the year 2011. The program is supported by the United States Department of Treasury together with the SC State Housing Finance and Development Authority. The main purpose is to help the homeowners to retain their homes. The program has given aid to more than 5000 South Carolinians. It helps save the single moms from being displaced from their homes due to unpaid mortgages on account of inevitable circumstances.

Homeowners may be experiencing unemployment, income reduction, death of partner, divorce or medical expenses and underemployment. All these circumstances can make one to fail paying homeownership expenses, and consequently face foreclosure. The program will help reinstate those who lost their homes. It will help pay the arrears and continue to pay monthly mortgage costs until the owner returns to financial stability. However, there are other factors considered for admission. Visit the housing authority to find more about the program.

Housing Choice Voucher Program for single moms in SC

The program is available as tenant-based and project-based. A single mom applying for the program must be decisive on which program to apply for. The tenant-based voucher offers more flexibility because the mother can move with it to another apartment for rental. Nevertheless, the same cannot be said with project-based voucher. As the name says it all, it is a project-based voucher and thus cannot be moved from one apartment to the other. The mother will have to re-apply for another voucher if she wishes to change apartments. This is the main difference between the two vouchers. All-in-all the rules are virtually identical.

Either way, the programs are all administered by the public housing authorities (PHA). The eligibility rules are also determined by these authorities and may differ significantly from one authority to the other. In general, the programs are open to U.S citizens, residents of South Carolina and legal immigrants. They should also meet income limits. Visit the PHA for exact figures of income limits.

How does Housing Choice Voucher work? The tenant-based program allows the single mother to search for the housing unit of her preference where she can rent. She has the freedom of selecting the units owned privately in private apartments. The program will help her pay monthly rent in the housing unit chosen. She will have to contribute only a certain portion which is 30% of her monthly earnings. This contribution includes utility expenses.

On the other hand, the project-based voucher allows the mom to rent in a subsidized apartment. It is still a privately owned apartment. The difference though, as emphasized before, rests in the attachment of the vouchers. Project-based is attached to the property and the tenant-based is attached to the tenant. Nonetheless, the rules are still the same where the mother is expected to contribute a certain portion.

These single mothers have to meet eligibility criteria prior to the issue of the vouchers. There are too many people looking for accommodation and thus the waiting list is long with regard to these programs. At times the waiting lists tend to be closed should the PHAs reach a certain maximum number of people to be helped. If the list is closed, the mother can apply with another PHA because they do not close at the same time. The housing units chosen have to meet the payment standards as determined by the authority. The table below shows a few;

Number of Bedrooms
Payment standard
1
$462
2
$563
3
$701
4
$945
5
$1086
Fig.1. Payment standards for Housing Choice Voucher units at Clarendon County
Source: http://www.schousing.com/Rental_Assistance/Payment_Standards_and_Utility_Allowances.

Homeownership Program for single mothers in SC

The program helps the single moms in the state to own homes of their own with the Housing Choice Voucher. The mothers have to familiarize themselves with the homeownership expenses. They are required to have a certain income standard before approved in the program. This ensures that the mother will continue paying the expenses due to her.

The mother, in addition, has to meet the following qualifying criteria;
,She must have the homeownership voucher
,She must be in good standing with homeownership voucher and meet all requirements
,She must have been a recipient of HCV for at least a year
,No outstanding monies to housing authorities
,She must be a first-time homebuyer
,She must have been employed for at least a year
,She must be earning at least $15000 a year

The housing authority may help with housing counseling, down-payment assistance and closing costs on the new home purchased.

The single mothers in the State of South Carolina have wider opportunities of housing to choose from. These are only a few chosen programs of assistance. Visit the local housing authority to enquire more about the programs. The authorities will also help determine your eligibility to receive any of the programs.

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