State Action Unclear as Half of South Carolina Renters at Risk of Eviction

July 27, 2020

Advocates for low-income South Carolinians fear hundreds of thousands of them could lose housing in the coming months thanks to a piling on of circumstances.

The state has seen a rise in evictions and homelessness since March, homeless advocates say. Things worsened after May when a state Supreme Court moratorium on court eviction filings was lifted. Now there's a new double-whammy: First, federal aid of $600 per week in unemployment insurance expires next week; and second, a federal moratorium on federally backed rental properties lifts this week.

"It scares the crap out of me because of how unprepared we are as a state and a legal community," S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center Executive Director Sue Berkowitz said. 

Consulting firm Stout and The National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel developed the tool that estimates the number of households at risk of eviction and tenants expected to be evicted over the next four months by state, based on U.S. Census Bureau data. 

Stout estimated Wednesday, 190,000 eviction filings could be filed in South Carolina over the next four months.

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