Virginia paid about $650 million in rent and mortgage payments

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After changing its online portal, the rent relief program is paying more than any other point in the pandemic.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia has paid more than $650 million to people who needed help paying rent throughout the pandemic, with most of the money coming from federal stimulus programs.

The most recent data from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) shows that the Rent Relief Program (RRP) is sending more money to people now than at any other time during the pandemic.

In total, through federal aid and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, the state has raised more than $1 billion to help people pay their rent and reduce evictions.

Housing – and being able to afford it – has been a concern for many people in Hampton Roads.

“You never know, we don’t even want to face the possibilities,” Gina Doxie, who lives in Norfolk, said in December.

Through January 15, 2022, approximately $647 million has been disbursed to more than 86,000 households throughout Virginia, which means more than $300 million in funds are still available to eligible, continuing applicants.

Most of those payments went to very low-income families with children. The DHCD reports that more than 79% of these families live at 30% or less of the median income zone.

After starting payments in the summer of 2020, the program has grown significantly in recent months.

The DHCD says $79 million of the RRP was sent to people in December – the most of any month.

The second highest was $52.5 million in September 2021.

The increase could be a byproduct of the RRP’s move to a single online portal system for landlords and tenants on December 1.

To see if you qualify for rental assistance or a mortgage, visit DHCD’s Rent Relief Program page on its website.

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