ROANOKE, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam has announced the addition of $525 million in federal funding for rent relief in Virginia.
Speaking at Gilliam Place Apartments in Arlington, Northam said the Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) is supported through the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which is included in the recent federal stimulus package. The additional money is designed to help tenants and landlords avoid eviction.
According to an announcement from the Governor’s Office, Virginia will immediately put $160 million into the RRP in an effort to stabilize housing and will make more funding available based on need. The program will be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
The Governor’s office notes so far, the Virginia Rent and Morgage Relief Program (RMRP) has distributed more than $83.7 million in 24,294 rent and mortgage payments statewide. Their data show the program is largely going to support families with children.
In Tuesday’s report, Northam said, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have prioritized efforts to keep Virginians safely in their homes. 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.”
Northam’s office said the new ERA funding does not include mortgage relief, so the RMRP will become the RRP. It will no longer accept applications to help with mortgage payments.
To submit a landlord-initiated application, visit virginiahousing.com/rentrelief. Northam’s office says Virginia law requires landlords to work with their tenant to apply for this assistance.
The report directs tenants who are interested in applying to 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.