LANCASTER, S.C. — Agencies in Lancaster County told WCNC Charlotte some landlords are increasing prices on rentals or choosing to sell, meaning more families are facing the possibility of homelessness.
According to data from rent.com, South Carolina’s average rent increased by 35 percent in just one year, going from an average of $1,016 in 2020 to $1,373 in 2021.
“We’re seeing a lot of evictions, we’re seeing a lot of individuals who rent [and their rent] is increasing on houses they’ve been staying [at] … and they have to leave," said Holly Furr with United Way of Lancaster County.
A Lancaster mom of three told WCNC Charlotte she moved into public housing in Lancaster three years ago and hoped it would be temporary. She chose not to share her name. She also said both she and her fiancée work, but are still struggling.
“The $15, that would have worked maybe 5 to 10 years ago, but now that’s just not enough. It needs to be $20 an hour and up," she said. "Unless you have multiple incomes in a household, you cannot survive on these rent costs nowadays."
The Housing Authority of Lancaster on Caroline Court told us this mom of three is an example of the people falling through the cracks.
Furr said options for these families are limited, and agencies try to help as many people as possible. Lancaster County doesn't have a permanent, year-round shelter. Furr hopes that will change by the end of this year.
“People are all of a sudden finding their paycheck not going as far," said Grace Lewis with HOPE In Lancaster. "They work hard, they work every day."