Don’t Wait to Get Help: SC Thrive’s COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program Is Available, Now With Updated Eligibility Requirements

Staff Report

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

SC Thrive offers immediate relief for South Carolina residents still struggling to pay rent during the Coronavirus pandemic. The organization is now accepting Rental Assistance Program applications from households that previously collected Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) — a change that significantly expands participation eligibility.

Designed to provide emergency rental assistance to South Carolinians facing financial hardships because of the ongoing pandemic, the program was previously not available to applicants also receiving the now-expired $600 weekly PUA benefit. However, the end of the benefit creates a timely opportunity for those previously rendered ineligible, and SC Thrive recommends that interested applicants take advantage. Eligible households could now receive assistance of up to $1,500 for rent in a one-time, lump-sum payment made directly to property owners or management companies.

Launched in late May in cooperation with the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SC Housing), the Rental Assistance Program aims to lessen the economic impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis on state residents by providing funds to renters affected by shutdowns, closures, layoffs, reduced work hours or unpaid leave due to the outbreak. The organization hopes the current transition period between the previous and the next wave of federal support will extend this benefit to more SC residents in need of rent money by greatly expanding accessibility to it.

“We recognize that the effects of Coronavirus are far-reaching, and South Carolinians are still struggling just to pay their rent or trying to hang on until their next paycheck,” said SC Thrive CEO Tricia Richardson. “But we want everyone to know that assistance is available now. This SC Thrive program is here to help South Carolinians stay housed during this difficult time. We strongly encourage anyone struggling — especially those who were previously denied or who didn’t apply for the program due to this requirement — to apply.”

SC Thrive understands that it can be difficult to send in supporting documentation, especially when many places that offer document scanning and faxing are closed. The organization encourages applicants to seek assistance for submitting documents through landlords, county government offices, employers and community-service organizations that currently allow visitors. Many of these organizations and offices are doing everything they can to help fill in the gaps for their neighbors. Those wishing to submit new applications for the program or simply learn more about it can do so at

Applicants must meet a number of requirements to qualify for the program, including:

  • Applicants must be South Carolina residents.

  • Applicants’ household income at the time of application must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for the county in which they reside. Income eligibility by county can be found at:

  • Applicants’ employment/income must have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning March 10, 2020, or later.

  • Applicants must be PAST DUE on rent.

  • The rent assistance payment must bring the rental balance current.

  • The applicant CANNOT currently receive any subsidized rental assistance.

In addition to the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, SC Thrive stands firm in helping South Carolinians in need access available resources in innovative ways. Primary areas of focus at SC Thrive include physical, mental and financial health. The organization also provides a variety of training and technology to other direct-service organizations so that they can more effectively help those in need access the resources available to them. To find out about all of the resources SC Thrive has to offer, visit their website at