HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Thousands of Virginians could soon face losing their homes after the federal moratorium on evictions ends on Saturday, July 31. But there’s still help for people struggling to pay their rent during the pandemic, with $700 million in funding available in the Rent Relief Program.
"It’s really important for people to know this is not a loan. This is free money to pay your rent if you have had a negative impact because of COVID," Del. Marcia Price said.
To apply, there must be a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People interested in applying for the Rent Relief Program can call 703-962-1884 to do so.
"The program is set up where either the landlord or tenant can apply. You do not have to be going through an eviction at the moment to apply for it. Once it’s found that you’re eligible, the funds go to the landlord for the rent that’s due," Del. Price said.
Michael Wilson received funding from the rent relief program to help pay his rent when he lost his job at the beginning of the pandemic.
"It was really over in the thousands. It was something that helped. I was out of a job. Sometimes you can’t get to it. Once the pandemic calms down and things opened back up, I got my job back," Wilson said.
He says the program helped him get back on his feet and that it was easy to apply.
"It was kind of quick. Everything was swell. I didn’t figure it was going to be that easy."
Del. Price encourages people to apply even if they have doubts about receiving funding.
"What you don’t want to do is assume it’s not eligible. You want to call and find out if you are," Del. Price said.