WASHINGTON — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday announced a $50 million program to help Virginians who are facing eviction and foreclosure.
This comes just days after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced a similar program in his state.
So who is eligible for the funding? Our Q&A team has your answer.
Earlier in the pandemic, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Hogan and Northam established moratoriums on evictions for anyone who suffered a substantial loss of income because of COVID-19.
But as places start reopening, those moratoriums are being lifted.
The Q&A team spoke to housing departments about new programs put in place to help renters who still cannot afford to pay rent.
In Virginia, Northam released details about the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program.
"This program is a critical piece to help those who don’t have some of those federal and state protections to apply and help get them caught up on their rent or mortgage payments," Erik Johnston, Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development said.
The $50 million program, funded at the federal level by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) launched as the moratorium on evictions expired in Virginia Monday.
Johnston said the program will help thousands.
"In the case where someone’s having trouble making that July rent, and they qualify, the program would help based on need. In some scenarios, the tenant may be able to pay part of the rent. The program fills that void," Johnston said.
Johnston said the rent relief funding is awarded through a grant and does not need to be paid back.
"For the first period of time through July 20, the program will specifically be targeting assistance to Virginians at 50 percent or less of area median income," Johnston said.
In Maryland, the Department of Housing and Community Development says that approximately 20 percent of state-financed rental units are currently delinquent.
On Friday, Hogan announced a commitment of $30 million in new funding to prevent evictions.
"And so there's going to be about $20 million that we will allocate to local jurisdictions to do just that to allow them to do more than what they can do with their own funds," said Matt Heckles, an assistant secretary at the Department of Housing, Community Development for the state of Maryland.
He said the other $10 million is aimed at helping about 45,000 people in rent-controlled housing situations. Heckles refers to this group as Maryland’s most vulnerable population.
"The assisted housing stock that we serve is in every jurisdiction across the state. It's primarily low-income housing tax credit financed properties. And so if they lose their income, they still have a rent obligation," Heckles said.