Advertisement

Job losses, evictions and utility cutoffs: Being poor amid COVID-19 outbreak

Advocates are calling on public and private landlords around the state to halt evictions for...
Advocates are calling on public and private landlords around the state to halt evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 9:47 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Demetrice Taylor works as a clerk at 7-Eleven in downtown Richmond, but with schools around the state closed for at least two weeks, she said that’s about to change.

“Yeah I’m quitting,” she said as she walked down the street with her 4-year-old daughter who attends a public pre-school, “because my kids come first.”

Her job provides no paid sick days, no family leave and no alternative to care for her daughter, she said.

And she’s not alone.

With a viral pandemic set to disrupt daily life around Virginia, advocates are issuing urgent calls for state and local officials to step in to protect low-income, homeless and disabled Virginians who they say are least equipped to safely weather the growing crisis.

They’re asking for a state-wide moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, utility cut-offs and collections actions, including by hospitals. For those who already homeless, they’re asking for additional support and shelter.

How can a person evicted from their home over nonpayment of rent be expected to quarantine themselves, asked Martin Wegbreit, the director of litigation at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society.

READ MORE ON VIRGINIAMERCURY.COM>

The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.

Submit a news tip.