Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Play

As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a high-stakes abortion case, it coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud, mask mandates and more, and at least three are dead in a Michigan school shooting.

Play

Republican lawmakers say government won't shut down; Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation will last well into next year; and an FDA panel greenlights first pill to treat COVID-19.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

VA Leads Nation in Federal Rental-Assistance Distribution

Play

Wednesday, September 15, 2021   

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia has distributed a larger share of the rental funds it received than any other state in the country, and housing advocates want to see the state continue the trend with more protections for renters.

Since January, Virginia has distributed more than $300 million of its $524 million from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Christie Marra, director of housing advocacy for the Virginia Poverty Law Center, said that's due in part to Virginia being one of the first states to set up a rental assistance program in June 2020 through the CARES Act.

"Nothing helps as much as having a rental-assistance program so that when people lose their jobs, when people have an unexpected expense, they have somewhere to turn to fill the gap and to pay their rent," she said. "No change in the law is going to do that, except having this fund continue."

Virginians in need of help paying rent can determine their eligibility and apply online on the state's Department of Housing and Community Development website.

Marra and other advocates have suggested it took being "shamed" for Virginia to become a national model for rental assistance. A 2018 report from Princeton University's Eviction Lab found five of the 10 largest cities with the highest eviction rates in the country are in Virginia. Since then, the state has enacted more safeguards for renters.

Kathryn Howell, co-director of the RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University, said it's a good start, but more can be done.

"Investment in counsel - and in fact, even a right to counsel - I think could be a really powerful way of making sure those tenants who have rights know how to exercise them, because it's really hard as a tenant to know all the things," she said. "They're not experts in housing law; they're not experts in understanding eviction and what rights they have."

Virginia is receiving an additional $465 million in rental assistance through the American Rescue Plan.


get more stories like this via email
According to an annual survey, 20% of Americans could not name any branches of government. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The U.S. Supreme Court today takes up arguments in a high-stakes abortion case. It coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud…


Environment

MADISON, Wis. - The Department of Natural Resources wants Wisconsinites to weigh in on its efforts to address chronic wasting disease. The always-…

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina communities will soon receive funding to preserve green spaces, maintain parks and boost resiliency against the …


Shoppers in Wyoming's historic downtowns can have cookies at Santa's Saloon and kids can deliver letters to Santa via Pony Express. (Visit Cheyenne)

Social Issues

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming shoppers choosing to buy gifts at local mom-and-pop stores this holiday season can sample cookies with Mrs. Claus and refuel …

Health and Wellness

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Today marks World AIDS Day, observed internationally to remember those lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and raise awareness about the …

Modern-day agriculture is now closely linked with technology, says a dean from Chemeketa Community College. (sodawhiskey/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALEM, Ore. -- A new project with a grant from the federal government aims to invite Hispanic students in Oregon into agriculture and technology …

Social Issues

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Student-loan borrowers have had a reprieve from making payments during the pandemic, but that's set to end in 2022. Starting in …

Environment

HEMET, Calif. -- Public-lands groups are asking Congress to support the proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge, a 500,000-acre swath …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021