What is changing with the Virginia Rent Relief program?
The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP), administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), will close the portal to new applications on Sunday, May 15, at 11:59 p.m. After that time, no new or renewal applications will be accepted.
Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) prioritizes assistance for households with incomes less than 50 percent of the area median income or households with one or more individuals who have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding the date of application. Any application submitted after April 21, 2022, and will be prioritized based on these criteria, then processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Why is the program ending?
RRP was created to provide temporary emergency rental assistance to ensure stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic and was primarily funded by federal stimulus grants through the U.S. Department of Treasury. DHCD will close the application portal to new applicants due to the limited funding available and a recent surge in applications submitted.
If I submitted an application prior to 11:59 p.m. on May 15, will I be able to continue to access my application, check status and add additional documentation, if necessary?
Yes, the portal will only close to new applications at 11:59 p.m. on May 15. All outstanding applications will be processed based on the prioritization listed above.
Does this program include mortgage relief?
No. The Virginia Mortgage Relief program is run by Virginia Housing and is separate from the Virginia Rent Relief Program.
What is RRP’s funding source?
The Virginia Rent Relief Program, which began June 29, 2020, was initially supported by CARES Act federal stimulus funding, and received additional state support as a bridge between the CARES and Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funding streams. In total, the program has received more than $1 billion in funding through federal aid and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.
How many Virginians have benefited?
Through March 31, 2022, RRP has processed and disbursed more than $713 million in 141,330 rent relief payments for more than 104,990 unique households throughout Virginia.
More than 79% of those approved had average median incomes below 30%. Also, more than 42% of approved households included children under 8 years old. Black households accounted for 60% of those served; white households accounted for 20%. Ten percent of households approved for funding were Hispanic or Latino. (Based on Jan. 31, 2022 data)
Since this program is closing, what other programs and resources are available to help Virginians?
DHCD encourages people to refer to the Virginia Department of Social Services Information and Referral Services, 211 VIRGINIA, for information on many community partners, community action agencies, and non-profit organizations, across the Commonwealth which offer assistance that may help meet the financial needs of Virginians. You can visit their website or contact them by phone by simply dialing 2-1-1 on the telephone; this is a free call.
If you are calling from out of state or using a videophone or disposable cell phone, you will have to dial 1-800-230-6977 to be connected. They will ask you which locality you live in and what your needs are; then they will check to see if there are resources available to assist you in your community.
Below is contact information for Virginia Legal Aid and the Virginia Bar Lawyer Referral Service if you wish to seek legal advice. Income maximums may apply for utilizing Virginia Legal Aid services and there is a fee for utilizing the Virginia Bar Lawyer Referral Service.
Virginia Legal Aid - 1-866-534-5243
New Housing Locator Assistance
If you need assistance finding a new place to live, you may wish to utilize Virginia Housing Search or the services of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) certified Housing Counselor to help you find new housing. The links for each resource are below.
Virginia does not currently have rent control limiting the amount of rent increase a landlord can charge.
Statement of Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
This document is a summary of tenantsʼrights and responsibilities under the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. This summary does not modify your lease or Virginia law. A lease cannot give up a tenantʼs rights under the law. The information below is not intended as legal advice. Tenants with questions are encouraged to contact their local legal aid program at (866) 534-5243 or valegalaid.org/find-legal-help.