Post Content

Local Groups Ask Governor to Add Funds to Rent and Mortgage Relief Plan

Alexandria-based New Virginia Majority and Tenants & Workers United on Wednesday continued their push for increased funding for Virginia’s Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.

Thomas Assefa, the organizing director for New Virginia Majority, said that tens of thousands of Virginians will be evicted from their homes. New Virginia Majority is requesting that the Governor increase funding for the rent and mortgage relief plan to the tune of $1 billion. The organizations also say that the governor can use his authority to stop evictions.

“The $50 million in the Virginia Rent and Relief Mortgage Program is not enough,” Assefa said. “There are close to 3 million renters in Virginia… and hundreds of thousands of tenants who face evictions.”

Ana Martinez of South Fairfax has lived in the area for 20 years, and in April spent six days in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. Her husband got sick, too, and now that he has recovered he is unable to find work. Martinez is now three months behind on her rent and other bills, and said that when she was met with a wall of bureaucracy when she tried reaching out to Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning regarding the funds.

“These are difficult times for us,” Martinez said.

Martinez isn’t alone: unemployment in Alexandria has remained high even after the state moved into the third phase of reopening.

Assefa said that such confusion regarding the program is being felt across Virginia.

Northam announced the $50 million program last month. Funds from the CARES Act are distributed to nonprofit organizations and then turned over to landlords to cover lost rent. However, Assefa said that the program needs improvements, like a 24-hour hotline with multilingual assistance, a faster turnaround for payments and the weekly release of data to show how much has been awarded and where.

According to the program website:

The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) is designed to support and ensure housing stability across the commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on availability of funds and household need, the RMRP may provide financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments for eligible households. This includes financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward. Financial assistance is a one-time payment with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility.

Additionally, as previously reported, earlier this month Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stated that lower courts can grant continuances on evictions and that there are a number of state and federal protections in place so that people can stay in their home during the pandemic.

Staff photo by James Cullum

Recent Stories

Thousands of art lovers will have to set aside their plans this weekend, as Del Ray’s annual Art On The Avenue has been postponed due to Tropical Storm Ian. Ian…

A number of suspected MS-13 gang members have been arrested the last several months for allegedly selling crack/cocaine, marijuana and firing gunshots in the Arlandria area. The suspects allegedly sold…

Enjoy live music and pop up beer garden at the Happy Hour Concert Series starting tonight at 6 p.m.

The Electra America Hospitality Group (EAHG) has filed an application to open a new cafe with outdoor seating at Hotel AKA — an Old Town North Holiday Inn replacement at…

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

At Nova Fencing Club, the beginner fencing classes are designed for students of all levels – including students who have never fenced before.

If you’re looking for a fun physical activity that improves your fitness, critical thinking and rapid decision making skills then come join us!

There’s no better time than now to give us a try – and take part in one of the fastest growing sports. Our highly educated, professional coaching staff includes Virginia’s only Maitre d’Armes, a member of USA Fencing’s coaching team, former members of the USA National Team, and our Head Coach, who has produced national champions.

Register for either our Youth Beginner Fencing Classes (7-12) or our Teen & Adult Beginner Fencing Classes (13 to Adult) and become a part of the club that champions call home.

Submit your own Community Post here.

Think BIG! About the Future of Movement

Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and

Between Home and the Front: Book Talk and Signing

Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Zoom or in person at the museum for a special book talk with the curators behind Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family. A book signing will be

×

Subscribe to our mailing list