This resource is helping Virginians struggling with affordable housing

California Population Movements
Posted at 4:22 PM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 16:24:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Finding affordable housing has become increasingly difficult for individuals and families, especially as many continue to recover financially from the pandemic.

Skyrocketing rent prices continue to dominate the housing landscape in Richmond.

Jovan Burton, the executive director of the Partnership for Housing Affordability, knows the rental struggle for many is taxing.

"Particularly, if it's time-sensitive. If you are someone who has 60 days to look and find a place to rent, it's incredibly unlikely. A lot of that is, we simply don't have enough supply on the rental side," Burton said.

That's the case for one CBS6 viewer who contacted the Problem Solvers in desperation.

A single mom, she found out this week that her landlord won't renew her lease in July. She has no family in the area and has no idea where she and her children will end up.

She said that right now is an incredibly scary time for her family as well as others who are in her position.

"When you don't have that housing in place, everything else becomes much more difficult," Burton said.

Attorney Janae Craddock with Central Virginia Legal Aid Society said with pandemic tenant protections expiring in the coming months and the state's rent relief portal winding down in less than two weeks, some renters will face even bigger challenges.

"That one medical bill that throws off your budget. That one unexpected car repair that you can't foresee and it throws off your budget. There may not be a safety net anymore to help keep them housed," Craddock said.

Burton fully expects their Housing Resource Line to be inundated with callers trying to navigate this affordable housing crisis.

Typically, they take calls from and serve 500 to 900 callers a month. He said the agency isn't a direct resource, but rather a helpful guide.

"Where to start, where to begin, or you're looking for financial assistance. You're behind in rent and unsure of who still has funding to help and what you might qualify for. We will point you in the right direction," Burton said.

The Housing Resource Line is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A specialist will guide callers through a brief intake process and help determine which housing services you are eligible for and meet your needs.

You can contact them by calling (804) 422-5061.