The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) is designed to support and ensure housing stability across the commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on availability of funds and household need, the RMRP may provide financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments for eligible households. This includes financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward. Financial assistance is a one-time payment with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility.
Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program is partnering with nonprofits and local governments, who will distribute it to eligible households. To qualify, renters or homeowners have to show proof of income — unemployment compensation counts — and a valid lease or mortgage statement, or simply documentation from the landlord confirming they are renting that home. Eligible homeowners and renters can apply and get one-time financial assistance to cover payments back to April 1 and going forward. People applying must have a rent or mortgage at or below 150% of the fair market rent and an income at or below 80% of the median area income. But from now until July 20, households with a gross household income at or below 50% of the area median income will get priority.
People Incorporated of Virginia is offering rental assistance to qualifying individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19. Interested applicants should contact People Inc. at (276) 623-9000 or (833) 437-0114 and you will be directed to someone who can help. Rental assistance will be paid directly to landlords of qualifying tenants and is available to qualifying individuals in the City of Bristol and Washington County, Virginia, among other localities. For more information, visit: https://tinyurl.com/yc7jnrfp
Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program serves 100 families a day over its first week
The federal CARES Act included flexible dollars for states to use in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with numerous other states, Virginia reserved a significant portion ($50 million) of these funds for rent and mortgage assistance available to families experiencing economic hardships. Beginning June 29, the state opened applications to its Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP).
Funds are distributed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and locally allocated by over two dozen community organizations across the state, who handle applications and deliver assistance. The program will cover rent or mortgage payments past due from April 1 and forward.
Currently, to be eligible, households must earn below 50% of the area median income (AMI) and demonstrate inability to make full housing payments due to COVID-19. Later in July, eligibility will expand to serve households up to 80% AMI.
DHCD recently provided an update on the program’s first nine days of operation. Results of note include:
- Local RMRP grantees collectively served over 900 households, or 100 per day.
- About one-third of those households have already had their payments processed.
- 2-1-1 VIRGINIA has successfully fielded over a thousand calls for housing assistance and directed those families to local RMRP grantees to begin applications.
- Rental assistance is in higher demand than mortgage assistance due to the statewide eviction moratorium expiring while federal foreclosure moratoriums remain in place for now.
- The time from initial contact to payments processed may take 5 to 14 business days, including the application, provision of supporting documents, and communication with landlords and mortgage companies.
Local organizations administering RMRP funds are required to submit biweekly reports on the number and demographics of households served. DHCD and Housing Virginia will provide updates as they are made available.
To read more about the program, review eligibility requirements, and find local RMRP program administrators, visit the DHCD Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program website. To learn about how COVID-19 has been affecting housing in Virginia, check out our COVID-19 Resources toolkit.