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Piedmont Housing Alliance stops evictions under COVID-19 state of emergency

Friendship Court Apartments is one facility  where the non-profit is halting evictions.
Friendship Court Apartments is one facility where the non-profit is halting evictions.(wvor)
Updated: Mar. 21, 2020 at 6:38 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -A nonprofit offering affordable housing units to families in the Charlottesville area is halting all evictions while Virginia remains under a state of emergency.

"We just feel it's the right thing to do. We don't want anyone to have any sort of extra burden during a burden health crisis," Piedmont Housing Alliance Director of Communications LaTasha Durrett said.

In addition to suspending evictions, the Piedmont Housing Alliance is waiving fees for late rent payments and offering residents and staff the opportunity to tap into an emergency assistance fund.

“That is going to allow us to give residents up to $200 for whatever they need it for and that’s also open to our staff,” Durrett said.

The COVID-19, also referred to as the coronavirus, pandemic is shuttering businesses and sending many to the unemployment office.

“Many residents are going to struggle to be able to meet their daily needs for food and medicine and child care, while also being able to pay the rent,” Piedmont Housing Alliance CEO Sunshine Mathon said.

The nonprofit is also partnering with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network to help families put food on the table.

“Particulary for the seniors in our communities who we’re asking and the health system is asking to stay in place,” Mathon said.

Mathon said many people living in the affordable housing units are already working two to three jobs, so the nonprofit is committing to helping residents once the crisis dials back.

“Provided with financial counseling to help them understand how best to navigate the budget in this new world,” Mathon said.

The Piedmont Housing Alliance plans to lift the suspension after Governor Ralph Northam lifts the state of emergency.

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