If you’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19, explore these resources:
Federal and state protections are now in place to help renters and homeowners unable to make their monthly payments due to COVID-19. There are also resources available for property owners, developers and the homeless.
By Tracey Messina
Resources for Renters:
- The Virginia Relief Program (RRP) is designed to support and ensure housing stability across the commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on availability of funds and household need, the RRP may provide financial assistance for rent payments for eligible households. This includes financial assistance for rent payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility.
- HUD-Certified Housing Counselors
- Virginia Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Virginia Residential Landlord-Tenant Handbook
- Virginia Housing Search
- Renter Education eBook
- CDC Eviction Moratorium Fact Sheet
- Online tool to write a letter to your landlord to tell them about your rights under the CDC Eviction Order
- Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
- Virginia Housing Alliance
- COVID-19 Property Owner and Renter Resources Guide
- Rent relief for residents of the City of Richmond, counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan – Call ACTS, 804-644-2401. ACTS is administering the Chesterfield Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance (CERA) program to provide financial assistance to Chesterfield County renters who have experienced financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Chesterfield residents can apply to ACTS to receive funds to pay delinquent rental payments dating as far back as April 1, 2020 and forward.
- Rent relief for the Cities of Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights and the county of Dinwiddie- Call St. Joseph’s Villa, 804-722-1181
- Rent relief for Henrico County residents only
- The Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP) is designed to support and ensure housing stability across the commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on availability of funds and household need, the RRP may provide financial assistance for rent payments for eligible households. This includes financial assistance for rent payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility. * Mortgage relief applications are no longer being accepted at this time*.
- Commonwealth Catholic Charities Housing & Financial Counseling provides support to individuals and families struggling to improve credit scores, create a workable budget, purchase a home, or avoid foreclosures. CCC’s certified financial and housing counselors can help develop a plan to achieve financial goals through one-on-one counseling and classes and workshops.
- CORE provides support to food and beverage service employees, with children, who have been medically diagnosed with COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship. You are also eligible for support if you are a food and beverage employee with children, and a family member who resides in the same home is diagnosed with COVID-19 and a doctor requires you to quarantine.
Financial assistance covers expenses for rent or mortgage, utilities, funeral expenses, medical bills/supplies, therapy, hospital expenses (travel, food, gas, etc.), child needs (diapers, formula, etc.), and childcare costs.
- The Benevolence Ministry provides food and utility payment assistance to individuals and families experiencing hardship. Benevolence is intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis or transition.
- Holli Fund supports individuals in the Richmond-area food service industry who are experiencing an economic crisis such as loss of income due to injury, illness, death of an immediate family member, coronavirus restrictions or other emergency. A food service worker can apply for assistance up to three months after a crisis occurs.
Resources for Homeowners:
- Avoiding Foreclosure in Virginia
- COVID-19 Info for Homeowners with Mortgages from Virginia Housing (formerly VHDA)
- Mortgage and Housing Assistance During COVID-19 – information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Guide to Coronavirus Mortgage Relief Options
- COVID-19 Relief Options: from Fannie Mae
- HUD-Certified Housing Counselors
- Guidance for VA Home Loan Borrowers: from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
•Homeless Crisis Line facilitates access to resources and shelter alternatives for those who are within 3 days of losing their housing or are already experiencing homelessness. (804) 972-0813
•The Housing Resource Line (HRL) is a centralized access point to help connect residents to programs and services that will help address their housing needs. The HRL is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To speak with our Spanish-speaking specialist, you can call on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00pm – 3pm. (804) 422-5061
•Visit 211Virginia to find service information or call 211 toll-free from anywhere in the state.
•Get the Street Sheet for a quick reference to services in the Richmond area.
•Visit Virginia Housing Development Authority for more information about affordable housing resources to help you find a home that fits your needs and budget.
•Rapid Re-Housing Services Rapid re-housing helps homeless households obtain permanent rental housing as quickly as possible and provides supportive services as needed. These services may include: case management; linking families to community resources; employment training; budgeting assistance; and education around tenant responsibilities. Eligible households receive short-term financial assistance and case management as needed. Please call 804-716-8178 to speak with a St. Joseph’s Villa staff member or leave a message for more information. All calls will be returned.
•Department of Public Utilities – Affordability Programs: The city of Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates five utilities: natural gas, water, wastewater, stormwater, and electric street lighting and offers ‘affordability programs’ for eligible residents.
MetroCare Heat Program
DPU is accepting applications through April 30, 2021 for those in need of financial assistance with their heating bills. If approved, you are provided a one-time assistance up to $500 per heating season. To apply, contact CAPUP at 804-788-0050.
MetroCare Water Program
Applications are accepted year-round to provide financial assistance toward water and wastewater charges. If approved, you could receive up to $500 in assistance once every 12 months. To apply, contact CAPUP at 804-788-0500.
Fuel Assistance and Crisis Assistance
Offers heating financial assistance. To apply, contact the Department of Social Services for Richmond city residents at 804-646-7046, for Henrico County residents at 804-501-4001, or Chesterfield County residents at 804-748-1100.
Offers heating and cooling assistance for Richmond city residents through CAPUP at 804-788-0050, Henrico County residents through Senior Connections at 804-343-3000, and Chesterfield County residents at 804-748-1100.
MetroCare Water Conservation Program
This program can assist with making your water usage more efficient by replacing showerheads and toilets at no cost to you. If you own your home and reside in the city of Richmond, contact Project Homes for more information and applications at 804-410-1501.
The Energy Assistance (EA) programs helps eligible low-income households offset expenses associated with heating and/or cooling their home. Some of the programs help with air conditioning or furnace repair/replacement, payments for utility bills, security deposits, and more.
Other COVID-19 Resources & Updates:
- Virginia Poverty Law Center’s Housing Resources
- Virginia Poverty Law Center COVID-19 Information and Resources
- Hunton Andrews Kurth COVID-19 Pro Bono Resources
- Legal Aid Justice Center COVID-19 Resources and Advocacy
- IRS Information on Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks)
- COVID-19 Consumer Resource Center
- CARES Act Payments to Individuals
- Garnishment and Debt-Collection during COVID-19
- Protect your COVID-19 Stimulus Payment from a Creditor
- 7 Things to know if you have lost income
- Coronavirus FAQ for farmworkers
- Coronavirus—Preguntas frecuentes de trabajadores agricolas
- COVID-19 Foreclosure Information
- COVID-19 Unemployment Compensation rules
- Public Benefits changes during COVID-19
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
- Commonwealth of Virginia
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- HousingForward Virginia
- National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA)
- National Housing Conference (NHC)
- S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- USDA Rural Development
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