Moratorium on evictions extended, more work needed says housing advocates

Moratorium on evictions extended, more work needed says housing advocates

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Housing advocates in the Richmond area are working to help families in need get out of a financial hole as we emerge from the pandemic.

This week, the feds extended a moratorium on evictions until the end of June.

“We’re starting to see evictions kind back up on the uptick,” said Monica Jefferson, HOME of VA Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Even with state and federal protections in place against housing evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s happening.

“We are still in a crisis. There are many families particularly the low-income families that we serve that are still in crisis. They have been impacted by COVID,” said Jefferson.

Housing advocates say almost 12,000 eviction judgments were made across the commonwealth between September 2020 and December 2020. Richmond has the second-highest eviction rate in the country, 11% annually in recent years.

Experts say landlords are finding ways to evict, other than being late on rent, such as elevating a noise complaint.

The moratorium extension is important, but those dealing with this issue for decades say more is needed.

“It’s a necessary measure to ensure not only health but also that folks can remain stably housed and just have further stability in their life,” said Jovan Burton, Partnership for Affordable Housing Director of Implementation.

Now federal aid, to the tune of $21.5 billion is on the way to help with rent relief.

“To be able to reach out, get a little help to make that rent payment, to get up to date if you will with the rent payment,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

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