Thursday, December 1, 2022

Play

Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Evictions in VA Continue to Grow

Play

Wednesday, September 28, 2022   

Evictions are on the rise in Virginia after numerous protections provided by federal and state rental assistance programs ended.

According to the Richmond Eviction Lab, the number of renters in Virginia fearing eviction during the first quarter of 2022 was 58%, almost double from the fourth quarter of 2021.

Christie Marra, director of housing advocacy at the Virginia Poverty Law Center, said a "perfect storm of evictions" has been brewing for some time now. She pointed out tenants' protections have practically evaporated over the last few months, but identified an important one remaining.

"The tenant still has what we call a right of redemption, which simply means that they have the right to pay everything they owe the landlord up until 48 hours before the sheriff comes, and they have to stop that eviction, in most cases," Marra explained. "There are a few exceptions to that for tenants who rent from small mom-and-pop landlords."

Numerous landlords have filed eviction cases to be prosecuted over what advocates said are unrealistic periods of time. Marra cites one apartment complex in Chesterfield called Rollingwood prosecuting 59 cases in one week. Another has 99 eviction cases to be prosecuted over a 10-day period. She does not want people to think it is about people unable to pay their rent, rather she charges there is a larger issue with evictions becoming part of a larger corporate landlord's business model.

Though the numbers are rising, Marra feels elected officials at each level of government can take action to slow it down or stop it entirely. At a local level, she suggested having a right to legal counsel to provide tenants with more equal footing when fighting eviction cases. On a state level, she hopes to see some pandemic-era requirements return.

"We had, during the pandemic, a requirement that made landlords give tenants 14 days to pay late rent, between the time they get the notice that, 'Hey, you didn't pay your rent. Here's what you owe. Here's the rent, here's the late fee. Please pay,' and the time they can take them to court," Marra recounted. "Five days is not enough time."

More time allows people to get their next paycheck, which Marra feels will help people make late payments more quickly. Federally, she feels emergency rental assistance needs to be made available all the time, not just in times of great crisis.

Disclosure: The Virginia Poverty Law Center contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Housing/Homelessness, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The gold dome on the Iowa Capitol has been gilded five times. The gold leaf covering the dome is 250,000th of an inch thick and is 23.75 karats. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


Environment

Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…

Environment

Fracking is a very water-intensive industry, and a new study dives into the impact of unconventional oil and gas drilling on aquatic ecosystems in …


Tom Oliver, center, receives the 2022 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service. (Bruce Carlson/AARP Washington)

Social Issues

A Bellingham man who supports people with dementia has received one of the most prestigious awards for volunteerism in Washington state. The …

Social Issues

Native American tribal communities and conservation groups got a big win Wednesday as President Joe Biden announced he intends to create a new nationa…

The 2020 Iowa caucuses were beset with tabulation problems, which set off a discussion on whether to shake up the Democratic primary process. (Scoutori/Adobestock)

Social Issues

A decision could come today on Nevada's bid to become the first state in the nation to hold a Democratic primary in 2024. The Democratic National …

Environment

Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor …

Environment

By Ray Levy Uyeda for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Greater Dakota News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…

 

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