If you or someone you know is struggling to pay their rent, is behind on their rent, or in danger of facing homelessness, please call our Administrative office at (276) 642-2001 or (276) 821-3053 to speak to Ms. Amber Hagan, our Rent Relief Program Specialist as soon as possible. Help is available!
Housing authorities point to rent relief resources ahead of expiring eviction moratorium (WCYB)
by Olivia Bailey (WCYB) – Thursday, June 24th 2021
BRISTOL, Va. — Virginia’s eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of the month.
Now housing officials are trying to let renters and landlords know about the resources that are available, but they also have concerns as the deadline looms closer.
“It got to the point that I was without pay for about a month or so, so I did get behind on rent,” Kedrick Jones told News 5.
Jones was hospitalized twice earlier this year because of COVID-19 that put him out of work for nearly a month. “They told me they would work with people as far as rent and stuff goes. If we was unable to work due to COVID.”
He is one of the thousands of Virginians across the state applying for rent relief, allowing him to pay adjusted rates after hardships faced because of the pandemic.
“We have been having conversations with colleagues across the state about this. We’re very concerned,” Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority executive director and CEO Lisa Porter said.
Porter said their agency is owed $47,000 in rental payments. She is one of many that are trying to let residents and landlords know help is available after the state eviction moratorium expires.
“They have to begin paying that or ask us for some rent relief assistance. We’re also willing to pay payment agreements for those that are behind,” Porter said.
In June of 2020, Virginia was one of the first to introduce a state rent and mortgage relief program. Governor Ralph Northam announced $524 million in additional funding in February. However, in rural communities like Wise County, housing officials are worried about the access to funding and how long it will be available.
“Family Crisis right now is our only resource. They have been extremely helpful, but we have no idea how long those monies will last through the state.” Wise County Redevelopment and Housing Authority Monty Salyer said.
Wise County is another locality also seeking tens of thousands of dollars in owed rental payments.
“My agency alone has got more than $37,000 in reparations from local residents. If they don’t file for relief, we have no choice, but to start seeking terminations,” Salyer told News 5.
Each of housing representatives tell us they are concerned about an influx of court dockets overflowed with housing disputes once the moratorium expires.
They tells News 5 they want to educate residents and landlords who may be concerned about the upcoming deadline.
On June 24, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signed an extension of the CDC order halting residential evictions due to non-payment of rent. The CDC eviction moratorium is now in effect until July 31, 2021, a one-month extension. Existing and new tenant declarations are in effect until July 31, 2021.
A CDC statement further provided that the CDC intends this to be the final extension. In preparation of the end of the CDC eviction moratorium on July 31, PHAs, property owners, and landlord are encouraged to use the resources available in HUD’s updated Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit to work with the residents to minimize evictions.
Additionally, the White House released Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability By Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosure. The fact sheet highlights a number of actions that the Administration is taking to help state and local governments prevent evictions with a focus of local court eviction diversion programs and speeding the process of distributing emergency rental assistance funds.