Rent relief program no longer includes mortgage payments

Posted at 7:23 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 18:37:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A few weeks ago Virginia got a boost of more than $500 million in new federal stimulus funds for the rent relief program to help keep families in their homes during the pandemic.

This program has been helping families since the beginning of the pandemic, but there are some changes to note.

Previously, the program was called the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program, and it was covered by CARES Act money.

Now, it's funded through the Emergency Rental Program, and these new federal funds do not permit mortgages to be paid from it -- so the program is now called the Rent Relief Program.

Attorney Janae Craddock explains that millions of dollars are still available to cover renters with an outstanding debt dating back to April 1 of 2020, but there's a new provision that will now give renters even more of a cushion.

"It has to be COVID-related loss of income and currently they can pay arrearages and up to three months of future rent. The maximum the program can pay is up to 15 months of rental payments," said Craddock.

Craddock also said tenants who have already received assistance for past due rent can reapply to obtain help with future rental payments.

Since it's inception, the rent and mortgage relief program in Virginia has distributed more than $83 million in payments for more than 24,000 Virginia households.

To apply, tenants can call 211.

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