CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Without an extension on Governor Northam’s eviction moratorium, Virginia may soon be facing a homeless crisis.
“I think if you put it in context with the 2008 mortgage crisis, you’re talking about something much bigger than that,” Public Housing Association of Residents (PHAR) Organizer Brandon Collins said.
Rent relief programs are crucial to being able to prevent an eviction crisis. Collins said that such programs are in the works, but organizations like PHAR need more time to put them in place.
“The city is rolling out a program, hopefully that will be ready next week and then the state is providing funding for rent relief through the Thomas Jefferson planning District Commission,” Collins said. ”Hopefully that’s enough funding to get a start on things.”
Collins also says there are resources available for people who may be facing eviction soon The city of Charlottesville has a hotline people can call for help with rent. He also urges people to know their rights and to never go into court without a lawyer.
In the Charlottesville area, if the moratorium isn’t continued the fallout could be drastic.
“The impact in Charlottesville is going to be huge,” said Collins. “Housing is already unaffordable for most people in the community and for them to find new housing will just be impossible and we’ll be faced with a massive homeless crisis.”
Collins also asks for landlords to be good community partners and to not send residents to the streets immediately.
“The bad landlords should not move forward with evictions,” said Collins. “I’m sorry, they need their money, we’ll make sure they get it somehow but it’s not being a good community partner putting anyone in the streets right now.”
Earlier this week, Governor Ralph Northam announced that he would leave it to localities courts to extend the moratorium if they choose.