Across South Carolina, there is a severe shortage of affordable rental housing available to extremely low-income (ELI) households whose incomes are the same or lower. This crisis has had a disproportionate impact on minority and low-income groups, with the state having the highest eviction application rate in the country at 18.7%, according to the Princeton University Eviction Laboratory. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) annually awards funding for community development (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) and Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) to organizations that provide services to the citizens of the city of Charleston. When the federal eviction moratorium is lifted in late January, an estimated 35 to 52% of families in South Carolina will be at risk of losing their homes, with communities of color being particularly affected.
The Charleston municipal newspaper reports that South Carolina housing organizations and advocacy groups are seeing a staggering number of tenants at risk of eviction after the end of the federal eviction moratorium. The Department of Housing and Community Development coordinates the delivery of several housing, community and economic development programs in partnership with several organizations that include non-profit and for-profit developers. Local housing experts estimated that 43% of South Carolina tenants were at risk of eviction after the state moratorium ended in May. According to a weekly survey conducted by the Census, in the third week of July, 27.6% of adults in South Carolina reported that they hadn't made their previous housing payment or that they had little confidence in paying the next one on time.
Eviction requests in South Carolina have been increasing since late May, when the state's eviction moratorium expired. Before COVID-19, South Carolina faced a long-term housing crisis and had the highest eviction rate in the country. The situation is dire: there are only 46 affordable homes for every 100 households with extremely low-income tenants in South Carolina.