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'It's really important that everyone continue to pay attention to this'
What’s behind Richmond’s higher than normal eviction rates
Posted at 1:30 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 13:37:50-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- President Joe Biden did not waste time getting to work after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Just hours after his inauguration, Biden signed over a dozen executive orders, one of which extends the nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

"It's definitely a good thing to extend the CDC eviction protections for tenants behind on rent," Central Virginia Legal Aid and Society Director of Litigation Marty Wegbreit said.

The executive order will extend the moratorium until March 31 for those impacted by the pandemic.

"So this is an extension of the CDC eviction protections that have been in place since September the fourth of 2020," Wegbreit said.

Wegbreit, who is helping to keep people in their homes and off the streets, said within the last 6 months, Virginia has seen a decrease in eviction cases. So far this year only 644. However, Richmond still leads the state in eviction filings.

"And if you add up all of those figures, that leads the state," Wegbreit explained. "So we're talking about a substantially, smaller number of eviction filings than is typical, typical week, there could be 250 to 300 filings."

Wegbreit believes those numbers could stay the same with the extension, but hopes it stays on the radar for state and federal leaders. That way those on the verge of losing their home can get the help they need.

“Because what I'm telling you now is the law now, it may not be the law in two or three months," Wegbreit said. "So it's really important that everyone continue to pay attention to this for the benefit of everybody, so tenants can stay safe and sheltered -- and landlords can get paid in full."

Those in need of eviction help can click here for how to apply for services.