COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Housing is looking to help homeowners keep their homes. The state has more than $100 million in COVID rescue plan funds available. It's aimed at those still trying to recover from the pandemic.
Rosalyn Rodgers is a Columbia homeowner. She said she bought her house two decades ago. She recalls it being a lot simpler back then.
"Went to the bank, having the down payment 20 years ago," Rosalyn said.
She said things were cheaper and it was easier to save for a house and future mortgage payments in comparison to today.
"I feel sorry for young people today trying to get a loan, get a house, especially those who have children. Things are so bad now," she said.
The bad she's referring to is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the housing market. The negative factors impacted people seeking homeownership in a seller's market, meaning there's limited supply for buyers. On the other hand, the pandemic also impacted homeowners.
Since 2020, many lost jobs or loved ones who were the primary source of income in the household. All of these factors put homes in jeopardy.
South Carolina Housing has a temporary solution for homeowners hard hit by the pandemic.
"The state of South Carolina received approximately $145-million to help homeowners who were struggling having a financial hardship as it relates to the pandemic," Renaye Long with SC Housing said.
Long said in order to qualify you must make less than $90,000 a year.
"You were temporarily out of work, or you had permanent loss of income. Of course that has a long term affect on your finances. Or maybe you had the death of a co-borrower," Long said.
Everyone in South Carolina who qualifies for the program is welcome to apply for assistance. This is different from the rental assistance program that is only for Richland County residents.
There are three ways to get assistance with applying for this program. You can apply using your smartphone on the agency's website, over the phone by calling the call center at (803)702-5222, or go to one of the help in-person help centers throughout the state.
South Carolina is looking to distribute this money before it's application deadline September 30, 2026.