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COVID-19 rental assistance program helping those facing homelessness in Henrico

Posted at 12:57 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 16:44:33-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- As the state continues to make its way through the pandemic, Henrico County has created a program to help those facing homelessness due to COVID-19.

"This is a program where you are running out of time and your landlord is taking you to court and you are facing eviction," said Paul Woodard, Adult Protective Services Supervisor, Henrico Department of Social Services.

Henrico County received $360,000 in CARES ACT Funding. The funds will be available to qualifying, income-eligible households that have been impacted by job loss, furlough, reduction in hours of pay or other factors resulting from the economic downturn precipitated by the pandemic.

"It is a homeless prevention program, so it is not necessarily a rental assistance for all," said Woodard. "It is for those individuals who were impacted by COVID-19. So they are not able to pay their rent and they don't have the financial or the social resources to be able to keep them from basically becoming homeless."

Those eligible for the program must meet all of the requirements and submit all documentation with application.

Applications submitted without the required verifications will be considered incomplete and subject to denial.

There are two different types of grants, the Community Development Block Grant-CV (CDBG- CV) & Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG-CV) fund.

The grants will pay up to four months in back rent up to $1500 a month. All of it will be paid at once to a property management firm or landlord and will require a home inspection, a requirement by HUD.

"The rental assistance is for passed due rent. We're looking at March 16 and forward, when the governor declared a state of emergency," said Woodard. "So, if you were impacted at your job or you're impacted because schools closed and then you weren't able to pay, your April rent or April, May June, July rent. Those are the month's we're really looking at."

If you do not qualify, Woodard tells CBS 6 they are ready to help you find other programs that will assist you during the pandemic. Virginia 211 has been recommended as a starting point to help you navigate through available options.

"We worked really hard in a short amount of time to get this up and to the public. We knew that with he eviction moratorium ending, that our courts were gonna be busy with evictions," said Woodard. "It doesn't serve any of us to have a lot of people flooding our streets and flooding our homeless services. Especially when we're not passed this crisis yet.
We're still in the middle of it."

If you would like to apply for the Henrico COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program, click here.

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