MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – For those who have been struggling to pay their rent, help is finally available.

“I am about two thousand dollars behind on rent,” said Stefanie, who lives in Horry County. “When travel shut down, my job shut down and I lived off my 401k and unemployment while I sent out hundreds of resumes,” Jandi said.

Stefanie and her friend Jandi said the pandemic has brought them financial hardships. Stefanie, who is a mother of three, said she has been using her credit cards to pay the bills.

“I make $1,200 dollars a month. My rent is $1,000 a month. So, that leaves me with saying, okay, so should I pay for the light bill? My kids still have school, they need the internet,” Stefanie said.

Officials with the Eastern Carolina Housing Organization said the Horry County Emergency Rental Assistance program is designed to help Horry County residents who have been directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 with rental and utility assistance.

The program offers applicants up to 12 months of rental and utility bills that are past due.

“Some people were able to bounce back months ago and some of us have not been able to,” Jandi said. “I am just at a point where it’s hard.”

After hearing about the program, Stefanie and Jandi said it is something they want to apply for. Stefanie and Jandi said they hope they qualify and can finally get the help they need. “I would definitely apply for it in a heartbeat,” Stefanie said.

Documentation is required by this program to determine if you are eligible. These include:

-You must be an Horry county resident and show documentation.
-One or two adults qualified for unemployment or had financial hardships due to COVID-19.
-Risk of experiencing homelessness.
-Show proof of rental lease or agreement.
-Household income must fall at or below these brackets:

The program is not available to homeowners. Applications opened on June 14 and will remain open until July 14. To learn more about the program and how you can apply, click here.

You can also contact ERAP at (843) 492-2600.