While less than 2% of our tenants have had challenges paying rent during the COVID pandemic, for those tenants and their corresponding landlords, the negative financial impact is significant. Fortunately, the Virginia Rent Relief Program (RPR) still has funds available to assist tenants with past due rent balances.
Tenants could receive up to 15 months of rental assistance if they experienced a financial hardship (directly or indirectly) due to COVID-19. Applications can be submitted online, with tenants supplying proof of income, along with a copy of their lease and ledger. Note that the rental relief funds are paid directly to the landlord or property manager, not to the tenant.
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is administering the program which is funded through Virginia’s allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. DHCD’s website provides detailed information on the application process which is simple and straight forward.
Over past three months, all the tenants in our managed properties who were eligible, who applied for relief, and who provided the appropriate documentation, have received funds to cover all of their past due rent. For some tenants, we have already received future rent payments to cover rent due through June. The process has taken 4-6 weeks. We are grateful for the staff at DHCD who have been extremely responsive as we’ve needed to coordinate with them.
Note that the CDC eviction moratorium remains in effect through June 30, 2021. In Virginia, landlords and property managers are required to apply for rent relief on behalf of the tenant (if the tenant has not already applied) before they can file for eviction.
If you have any questions on the Virginia Rent Relief Program or the CDC eviction moratorium, please contact Michele Odems and she’ll be happy to provide additional information.