|Gov. Ralph Northam announced $524 million in new federal funding is available to help keep Virginia families in their homes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) is funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program included in the recent federal stimulus package and will assist households and landlords with rent payments to avoid eviction.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have prioritized efforts to keep Virginians safely in their homes,” said Northam. “There continues to be an overwhelming need for additional relief to help those struggling to make ends meet. This new federal funding will provide an important lifeline to individuals and families and bolster our ongoing work to address housing affordability in the Commonwealth. I urge eligible households to act quickly and work with their landlords to seek rental assistance through this program.”
Virginia is immediately putting $160 million into the RRP to increase housing stability, with additional funding available based upon need. The program will be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
In June 2020, Virginia was one of the first states in the nation to create a statewide rent and mortgage relief program with federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.
The new ERA funding does not include mortgage relief, so the RMRP that has been operating since June will become the RRP and will no longer accept applications for assistance with mortgage payments.
The Biden Administration also has announced an expansion and extension of federal forbearance and foreclosure relief programs.
To submit a landlord-initiated application, visit virginiahousing.com/rentrelief. Virginia law requires landlords to work with their tenant to apply for this assistance.
Tenants interested in applying should check their eligibility by completing the self-assessment at dhcd.virginia.gov/eligibility or by dialing 2-1-1 from their phones. Tenants may be eligible for rent arrears payments back to April 1, 2020 and up to three months of payments into the future. The total payments may not exceed 15 months of rental assistance per household.
Current state and federal eviction protections through the courts do not prevent rent payments from accumulating. Additional information on RRP is available at dhcd.virginia.gov/RRP. For additional housing resources, visit StayHomeVirginia.com.