HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Local experts have said there’s a lack of affordable housing in Hampton Roads, and now, inflation and other complications in the housing market have compounded the situation. In fact, some protections for renters will be expiring starting June 30.
The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office reports that so far this year, it has served 274 eviction notices and 27 so far in June. In Norfolk, that number is 655 for the year so far and 21 this month. Chesapeake reports that 225 have been evicted this year and seven this month.
Aarian Daniels, a program manager for the Norfolk Eviction Prevention Center told News 3 that numbers have been down during the COVID-19 pandemic because of protections, but some of those protections are set to expire at the end of the month - including the amount of time a landlord is required to give renters who are in danger of being evicted.
“The most significant one that we’ll see the most impact to residents here in Norfolk is the 14-day notice. It’s going to revert back to the 5-day notice,” explained Daniels. “After COVID hit, the notice was extended to 14 days, and that would give residents at least a chance to have another pay period within that 14-day time period.”
Daniels said that the Norfolk Eviction Prevention Center will be reaching out to property managers and landlords to identify those who might be at risk of being evicted.
Last month, The City of Norfolk's eviction relief and prevention programs received a $1 million boost to assist the Department of Neighborhood Services in providing relief funding and support services to renters facing eviction. The one-time funding came from City of Norfolk local operating funds, as well as the Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot program.
One program that has helped thousands during the pandemic is the “The Virginia Rent Relief Program” (RRP). According to The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, RRP is designed to support and ensure housing stability across the commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on the availability of funds and household need, the RRP may provide financial assistance for rent payments for eligible households. But that may no longer be an option for some.
“They’re not accepting any more applications right now,” stated Daniels, “So, I’m sure there’s going to be an uptick again of people trying to find affordable, suitable housing.”
News 3 talked with a Virginia Beach resident who did receive help through the Rent Relief Program. He asked not to be identified. He said he received help for several months to help his family and him pay for a hotel since he couldn’t find a house in his price range. It appears his assistance has either been delayed or stopped, and he reports that he’s once again in danger of being evicted, this time from the hotel.
For more information on how to find help, contact the Norfolk Eviction Prevention Center, click here or call 757-664-6363 or email email@example.com. Daniels suggests for those living in other localities, contact their neighborhood services department or social services.
The Housing Crisis Hotline is 757-587-4202.