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COMMITTEE AMENDMENT ADOPTED AND AMENDED
March 24, 2021
Introduced by Reps. G.M. Smith, Stavrinakis, Wetmore, Weeks, Hewitt, Wheeler, Erickson, Bradley, W. Newton and Dillard
S. Printed 3/24/21--S. [SEC 3/25/21 3:02 PM]
Read the first time March 9, 2021.
TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FROM THE EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, AND TO PROVIDE THE MANNER IN WHICH THE FUNDS MUST BE DISTRIBUTED.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. A. The federal funds disbursed to the State pursuant to the federal "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021" for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, are hereby authorized to be expended as set forth in this Joint Resolution.
B. In accordance with the provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, applications for funding can be made by a utility, landlord, or tenant on behalf of the eligible household.
SECTION 2. (A)(1) There is created the South Carolina Emergency Rental Assistance Program (program) administered by the South Carolina State Housing Financing and Development Authority (SC Housing), under the direction of its board of commissioners, with the funds appropriated in SECTION 1, to assist eligible households that are unable to pay rent, utilities, and other expenses incurred related to housing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as defined by the Secretary of the Treasury.
(2) SC Housing shall obligate all the funds authorized in SECTION 1 for the program by September 30, 2021.
(B) SC Housing shall secure professional grant management services to assist with disbursing the federal funds authorized in SECTION 1 in an expeditious manner. SC Housing shall use the contract awarded pursuant to the procurement process established by Section 2(A) of Act 135 of 2020, for professional grant management services that provided for services including, but not limited to, understanding the requirements and funding streams related to federal COVID-19 relief funds; creating a framework for distribution management from application for funds to disbursement of funds to include the development of processes and controls, data collection, evaluation of requests, and reporting; and creating a system of monitoring for compliance and detecting possible fraud, waste, and abuse.
(C)(1) An "eligible household" means a renter household in which at least one individual:
(a) qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
(b) demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
(c) has a household income at or below eighty percent of the area median.
(2) Rental assistance provided to an eligible household should not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household.
(3) Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the ninety days or more before applying for assistance and households with income at or below fifty percent of the area median are to be prioritized for assistance.
(4) Household income is determined as either the household's total income for calendar year 2020 or the household's monthly income at the time of application. For household incomes determined using the latter method, income eligibility must be redetermined every three months.
(5) If the eligibility requirements of the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program are amended, the eligibility requirements contained in this subsection are amended to conform to the federal amendments.
(D) SC Housing may not award funds to residents of Anderson, Berkeley, Charleston, Greenville, Horry, Richland, or Spartanburg counties unless there are additional funds remaining after obligating funds to all other eligible residents in the State.
(E)(1) There is created the South Carolina Emergency Rental Assistance Program Advisory Panel. The panel consists of:
(a) the director of the Department of Administration, or his designee;
(b) the Director of the Office of Regulatory Staff, or his designee;
(c) one representative recommended by the Association of Counties appointed by the board of directors of SC Housing;
(d) one representative from the Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina appointed by the board of directors of SC Housing;
(e) one representative from the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development appointed by the board of directors of SC Housing; and
(f) one representative from a utility provider appointed by the Public Service Commission.
(2) The panel shall review and monitor the implementation and evaluation of the program and funding.
SECTION 3. Colleges, universities, and entities that provide medical and hospital care, whose employees are employees of the State of South Carolina or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized to contract directly with private parties to provide services related to federal employment tax credits pursuant to the Federal CARES Act of 2020 as extended to such state employees under Section 207 of the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020.
SECTION 4. SC Housing must take action, to include working with the judicial department, to ensure that eligible households and landlords are aware of the program and that program information is distributed in rental deferrals and evictions cases.
SECTION 5. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on March 25, 2021 at 3:03 PM