Blue Ridge Legal Services prepares for rent relief program to end

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 11:37 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - As of Sunday, May 15, the application portal for the rent relief program in Virginia was closed.

“There are still thousands, or at least hundreds, of applications still pending that have been submitted in the portal but haven’t been approved yet,” John Whitfield, executive director at Blue Ridge Legal Services said.

On June 30, many of the protections tenants had will expire, making it easier for landlords to file eviction notices and take tenants to court for non-payments.

Whitfield said Blue Ridge Legal Service’s priority from now until June 30 is to sort through the applications still pending and make sure that rent gets paid so people don’t get evicted when the benefits stop.

In the past year, rent prices have continued to rise with inflation. Now that these benefits are closing, local legal services say to make sure you’re asking for help early.

“Please contact us as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t wait until the day before the court hearing. If you know somethings brewing, contact us now,” Whitfield said.

Giving legal offices more time allows them to look closer at each case and allows them to find the best option for each tenant.

“We’re gonna try to find other alternative sources. There are local programs that provide rent relief, so we’re gonna try and see if our clients might qualify for those things,” Whitfield said.

Along with finding other programs similar to the rent relief program, Blue Ridge Legal Services is ready to provide legal help as well.

“We’ll also be looking at the legal defense that are available for people who are being evicted. There’s lots of ways that landlords manage to somehow get it wrong, and so, well make sure that if there are any defenses available for our folks that are being evicted that we assert them if they are eligible for our services,” Whitfield said.

If you need help with rent relief you can call Blue Ridge Legal Services at 540-433-1830.

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