Due to lower average incomes, even Aiken can be a difficult place to raise a family. The rents might seem reasonable at first until you factor in all of the related housing costs. For a family already struggling to make ends meet, these local low-income housing assistance programs might be a big boost to a strained budget.
Aiken, SC is a small town that has a limited rental market. As a result, you may find that you have few options when trying to find safe, yet affordable housing.
First of all, if you are behind on your rent, you will need to find a way to become current again. The General Emergency Assistance Program is operated by the South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity. You will need to bring in your past due rent notice so that your landlord can be paid from existing program funds. An intake interview will determine whether you meet the needs-based criteria for this assistance. Getting several hundred dollars towards your back rent (paid through voucher system) is a major benefit, so make sure that you inquire as to your qualifications for the rental assistance program. Call 803-648-6836 in order to set up your appointment at the Beaufort St location. In addition to rental assistance funds, you may also have access to utility bill assistance and urgent food supplies.
Finding rent controlled apartments can be a challenge by using the usual apartment finders. However, The Aiken Housing Authority does maintain a searchable website for Section 8 subsidized housing. These properties generally have rents ranging from $400-800 a month. The Section 8 program keeps rents affordable by providing a monthly subsidy to the landlord which partially pays their normal rent requirement. The tenant then pays the difference. A waiting list does exist for Section 8, so you may need to look for additional options in the meantime.
If you have had additional challenges beyond the normal household, then you may need to consider transitional housing. This is especially useful for families in crisis due to divorce, domestic violence, incarceration and drug treatment. For this need, Oxford House maintains a facility on Vaucluse Rd in Aiken. Only 12 residents are normally allowed at any time, and it is limited to a male population. Call 803-642-7120 for more information.
Getting help when you need it is sometimes embarrassing, but you must realize that these programs are funded by your tax dollars. When you find yourself temporarily unable to make ends meet, you are encouraged to quickly take advantage of these local programs available to Aiken city and county residents so that you can quickly return to self-sufficient living.