Virginia extends rent and mortgage assistance program as pandemic rent freeze ends

The program sets aside $50 million of CARES Act money to help Virginians who have been economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and are facing eviction or foreclosure.

RICHMOND, Va. — On the same day Virginia’s pandemic “rent freeze” ended, Governor Ralph Northam implemented a new program to help residents economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic stay in their homes.

New Virginia To rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) is using CARES Act money ($50 million) to protect eligible Virginians from evictions and foreclosures.

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Virginia Commerce and Commerce Secretary Brian Ball said in a statement that this program is essential to maintaining public health.

“As we continue to secure funding for rent and mortgage assistance, this $50 million investment will serve the most vulnerable Virginians while providing a roadmap for future relief,” Ball wrote. .

The statement said the money would be applied to those in need through local governments and nonprofit partners.

To be eligible for RMRP assistance, Virginians:

  • must prove that their inability to pay their rent/mortgage is directly due to the pandemic,
  • must have rent/mortgage at or below 150% of fair market rent,
  • and must have a gross household income equal to or less than 80% of the area median income.

People may still be eligible if they have other protections from eviction or foreclosure, but the governor’s office said the RMRP’s priority would go to Virginians who don’t otherwise have a housing safety net. .

“From June 29 to July 20, priority will be given to households whose current gross income is equal to or less than 50% of the AMI,” a spokesperson wrote. “After July 20, households with current gross income at or below 80% of the MAI will also be included.”

The statement said the program would work to implement “targeted outreach to communities of color,” which were disproportionately subject to evictions and foreclosures. according to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University.

Click here to visit the Virginia Housing Resources website.

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