Greenville County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Greenville County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Greenville County’s New Emergency Rental Assistance Program from GPP – Greenville Philanthropy on Vimeo.

Counties with population of 200,000 people or more received Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds from the federal government, and Greenville County received $15.8 million. These funds are to help households affected by the health or economic impacts of COVID with rent and/or utilities assistance.

Nicole Wood and Meredith Papapieris from Greenville County reached out to the NonProfit Alliance and Greenville Partnership for Philanthropy about hosting meeting before the application goes live on March 8th to give our community’s nonprofits and helpers a preview of the application and to answer any questions. (Updatelink to live program application)

Nicole and Meredith explained that eligibility from the federal government is very cut-and-dry:  households must be at or below 80% of the area median income (and priority will be given to those at or below 50% of AMI and to those unemployed for a full 90 days prior to applying), applicants must live in Greenville County, and they cannot have already received federal assistance to pay for the same bill(s) for which they are applying for help. Greenville County will be paying a max of $8,000 per household to start, but they did let our meeting participants know that they will look to do an additional three months if additional funds are available. Rent, rental arrears, and utilities arrears are eligible, and payments are made directly to the landlord and utility providers.

More details can be seen in the video and their slide deck from the session found below.

The County has engaged Tetra Tech to manage and process the applications.  Tetra Tech works with many communities in handling CDBG-DR and CDBG-MIT funding, and Nicole and Meredith have heard from other communities that they have been very flexible and responsive as their own payment programs have opened up.  Tetra Tech will have a call center open Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm to help with any questions or challenges as folks apply, and they will also have a representative onsite at County Square to help the County with any troubleshooting.

Nicole and Meredith stressed that they are both available to interact with and answer questions from NPA members, and they hope that agency staff and volunteers will spread the word about the program and help their clients apply.  The application is user friendly, but also has many layers based on if/then responses from the applicants; the County is developing a list of documents needed when users apply.  They also noted that if you only need help for last month, you can still apply again for the next three months; the software will automatically remind folks to reapply using their same previous application to get more if needed.

They have to spend 65% of the funds by September or it goes back to the state, so please help spread the word!

Resources: