EXPLAINER: How Virginia is helping tenants with rental aid

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The end of some tenant protections by the end of next month has raised concerns that thousands of Virginia residents will be unable to afford their rent and face eviction.

A federal freeze on evictions expires July 31. Expiring at the end of this month is a state protection that requires landlords to apply for rent relief money on their tenants’ behalf. Renters will have to seek it out themselves.

Virginia’s Rent Relief Program has already paid out more than $240 million to support nearly 40,000 households. Housing advocates worry evictions will surge if landlords fail to tell tenants about the relief money moving forward.

The rental housing market is already tight. And more than 20% of Virginia’s rental households have people with “extremely low” incomes.

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