Virginia Mortgage Relief program to offer housing assistance over the pandemic
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — December 31 marked the last day of the statewide moratorium on evictions in Virginia. Though different restrictions, there is still a nationwide ban on evictions until January 31, 2021.
“It’s really critical. It is a life and death scenario here. We need stable housing even before and after a pandemic,” Pam Kestner with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development said in a Zoom interview.
The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program aims to help those in need of financial assistance maintain their housing during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since June 29, we’ve processed payments for more than 16,000 households across Virginia totaling $53.7 million in funds that have paid for mortgage and rent relief,” Amanda Love with DHCD said.
To be eligible for the assistance you must meet the following criteria:
- Have a valid lease or mortgage
- Experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic
- Rent/mortgage below 150 percent Fair Market Rent
- Have a gross household income at or below 80% area median income (AMI)
According to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, as of January 1, 2021, if a tenant is late on one or more rent payments, the landlord must offer the tenant a written notice about the amount due and owed.
That notice must include specific information for the tenant, including the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.
The tenant then has 14 days to pay the amount due and owed, enter into a payment plan or make another payment plan arrangement with your landlord.
There are a number of steps that can be taken if you have an eviction lawsuit filed against you, but the VDHC states:
“Your landlord cannot evict you without a court order, no matter what your lease says. Your landlord cannot cut off your utilities, including water and electricity. Electric, water, and gas utility companies are under a moratorium.”
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