VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It’s the first week of April and rent is still due, despite the challenges COVID-19 and Virginia’s Stay-at-Home Order present.
But there are multiple resources right here in Hampton Roads that are a simple click or phone call away.
“We always say people are one paycheck away and what we are finding at this time is, that’s a reality,” said United Way of South Hampton Roads CEO Michele Anderson.
Many are out of jobs, but bills keep piling on up.
“Ninety percent of the people that call have has a complete loss of income and over 80 percent are with children,” Anderson said.
She added that the United Way has a hotline and website up and running to help with basic needs and quick relief.
“The highest need on calls are for financial rent assistance,” Anderson said.
The United Way is one route, but the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline can connect callers with almost 400 resources.
“We can screen callers for what they are eligible for and really connect them with those resources,” said ForKids CEO Thaler McCormick.
ForKids operates the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline. Just like the United Way, McCormick said they have a website with direct links for COVID-19 assistance.
“It’s much easier for families in crisis if they can reach out and get the resources in one place,” McCormick said.
Most importantly, renters don’t need to worry about eviction, for now.
“The Governor and the Supreme Court of Virginia has really tried to allay some of those fears by suspending legal actions, but in particular evictions at this point are on hold,” said Delegate Jay Jones.
Delegate Jones is also a local attorney and said the governor’s extended orders put off non-emergency court proceedings until the early summer.
“For now -- unless there is a court order -- folks are not allowed to be removed from their housing situation at this point,” Jones said.
McCormick said the order even helps them stretch their resources.
“That is going to help us deal with the people who don’t have housing that are already dislocated and moving place to place,” McCormick said.
Both CEOs urge anyone to give their hotlines a call, even if they just need to talk.
“Reach out, we are there,” Anderson said. “We will talk to you. You are not alone. We are a strong community and we will get through this.”
We also reached out to a few rental companies and The Lawson Companies got back to us. They manage 37 properties in the area. They said the company set up a rent deferral program for tenants unable to pay April or May rent.
Anyone in need of assistance can visit the links below: