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Virginia Begins Study of High Eviction Rates in Its Cities

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The state of Virginia has begun to study ways to bring down some of its cities notoriously high eviction rates.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Virginia Housing Commission work group began discussions Monday. The work group's hope is to find legislative fixes for the General Assembly to implement.

Monday's discussions revealed sharp differences of opinion over the root of high eviction filings. Housing industry representatives pointed to poverty as well as tenant issues such as drugs and violence.

But advocates for low-income renters said the legal system favors landlords and that state laws fail to do enough to protect tenants.

Research recently released by Princeton University showed that Richmond has the second-highest eviction rate in the country. Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Chesapeake are ranked in the top 10.

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