Evictions Halted While Northam Starts Rent Relief Program

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam
NBC Washington

Eviction proceedings in Virginia were halted Monday due to a temporary statewide moratorium, Gov. Ralph Northam announced.

Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons issued the order Monday, which will remain in effect through June 28.

Evictions were put on hold in mid-March while court houses were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But on May 17, the order to suspend non-emergency proceedings expired, allowing backlog eviction lawsuits to continue.

On May 18, Lynchburg General District Court Chief Judge Sam Eggleston III heard 90 eviction lawsuits, the most of any court in Virginia, The News & Advance previouslyreported.

The moratorium gives Northam’s administration time to implement a rent relief program for residents facing housing insecurity during the pandemic.

“I am grateful to the Chief Justice for granting this order, and for the activists who have been working tirelessly on this important issue,” Northam said. “Access to safe and stable housing is critically important, and this action will keep thousands of families in their homes as we work to get them the support they need.”

Details regarding the rent relief initiative are expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks.


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