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Rent relief still available ahead of CDC eviction moratorium ending

The Legal Aid Justice Center is leading the charge in a lawsuit against the Virginia Employment...
The Legal Aid Justice Center is leading the charge in a lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission.(WVIR)
Published: Jul. 11, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - At the end of July, the CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire for good. Once that moratorium runs out, attorneys with the Legal Aid Justice Center say we could see a wave of eviction hearings.

“We can expect to see court cases ramp up, which is especially unfortunate,” Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Justice Center Victoria Horrock said. “This is a systemic issue, this is facing thousands, if not millions, of families across Virginia.”

Horrock says there’s still lots of resources that can help people stay in their homes.

“There’s actually millions of dollars in rental assistance that’s available to these families, but there’s a timing issue so we need tenants to be able to access those funds and landlords to be patient, rather than running to the courthouse,” she said.

Horrock says its important that landlords work with tenants during these tough times.

“It’s important now that landlords voluntarily help their tenants apply for this rental assistance to keep families housed, and so that they can stay healthy so that kids can stay in school so people can stay employed,” she said.

If evictions ramp up, Horrock says an eviction crisis could be the outcome.

“There’s all the normal problems that go along with affecting a family, children are uprooted from school systems, parents lose their jobs, public benefits are lost because address has changed, and then the domino effect of an eviction...it’s hard to measure its impact,” Horrock said.

If you’re facing a potential eviction, The Legal Aid Justice Center has some tips to fight it.

“It’s always important to talk to an attorney, also always go to their court date, even if tenants do realize that they owe some money, they still have these protections in place so it’s important to always go to the first return,” Horrock said.

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