10938 Ellenton Street
Barnwell, SC 29812
The Public Housing program has 825 public housing units and 16 developments under management, serving nearly 2000 residents in its in eleven-county jurisdiction: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Collenton, Dorchester, Hampton, Jasper, and Orangeburg. These units range from scattered single family homes to row townhouses with bedroom sizes ranging from one to as many as five bedroom apartments.
The housing developments are subsidized by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD also provides technical and professional assistance in the planning, development, and management of Public Housing.
There are five eligibility requirements that must be met before an applicant is admitted into the Public Housing program.
Applicant must qualify as a family
Annual gross income must be within Income Limits
Applicant must be suitable for housing in accordance with HUD regulations
Citizenship or eligible immigrant status must be met
Required consent documents must be signed
Qualifying as a Family
A family is defined as a group of individuals related by blood, marriage, adoption, or affinity who live together in a stable family relationship and who have the income and resources available to meet the family's needs. In addition, a family may consist of related and unrelated individuals, single people, disabled people, displaced people, and the elderly.
A family's annual income must fall within the low to very-low income limits set by HUD. For admission into housing units that were available for occupancy before 10/1/81, the family's income cannot exceed 80% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which the family chooses to live. For admission into housing units that became available on or after 10/1/81, the family's income cannot exceed 50% of the median income for the area, unless HUD grants an exception. These income limits apply only at admission and are not applicable for continued occupancy.
In addition, eligible residents normally pay no more than 30% of their monthly-adjusted income towards rent and utilities. The remainder is funded through HUD.
Suitability for Housing
Applicants who have been determined to be family and income-eligible are screened for suitability in accordance with HUD regulations. To be considered suitable for housing, applicants must show that they have the ability to pay rent (if applicable), maintain their housing unit, and live harmoniously with their neighbors. Emphasis will be placed on whether a family's admission could reasonably be expected to have a detrimental effect on the development, other residents, SCRHA3 employees, or any one else residing in immediate vicinity of the property.
In accordance with the Housing Opportunity Extension Act of 1996, SCRHA3 screens all applicants for criminal history. If an applicant's criminal background check reveals a history of interfering with the health, safety, or well being of other residents, participating in drug-related criminal activity, or engaging in violent criminal behavior, applications for housing assistance may be denied.
Credit history reports gathered in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act are also used to determine suitability for admission into Public Housing. If certain "credit score" criteria are not met, admission may be denied.
Immigrant Each member of the family must be a citizen, national, or non-citizen who has eligible immigration status under one of the categories set forth in Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980. In addition, each family member 6 years of age or older must provide a Social Security number or certify that they do not have one.
In order to be eligible, each family member who is at least 18 years of age and each family head of household and spouse, regardless of age, must sign all required consent documents. The information to be obtained from consent documents includes, but is not limited to, income information from current or previous employers, the IRS and SSA, and consumer credit and criminal history records.
Upon the offer and availability for housing, a formal lease agreement-covering the lease term, rental payments, security deposit, occupancy and maintenance requirements, and other pertinent rules and regulations-must also be signed prior to being admitted into a Public Housing unit.
To apply for Public Housing a family must first complete a preliminary application form, which is designed to gather basic information and establish any preferences to which the family may be entitled. Preliminary application forms are taken on Mondays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the administrative office, 10938 Ellenton St., Barnwell, SC 29812. Residents living outside of Barnwell County who would like an application form mailed to them should call (803) 259-3588.
After making a preliminary application and determined to be eligible for Public Housing, the applicant family's name is placed on a waiting list. Factors such as local preferences, bedroom sizes required; and application dates are used to determine movement to the top of the list.
When a family appears to be nearing the top of the waiting list, the family will be invited to an interview and the verification process will begin. If the family is still determined to be eligible for Public Housing, the family will complete a full application, present Social Security number and citizenship/eligible immigrant documentation, and sign Consent for Release of Information forms.