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Northam, IKEA give $4 million to help Virginians facing evictions

Governor Northam matched IKEA's $2 million donation to expand legal services to Virginia tenants who are at risk of eviction for the next two years.
Credit: designer491, Thinkstock

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Ralph Northam set aside $2 million from the state's COVID-19 relief fund to extend legal services to Virginians who are in danger of being evicted from their homes.

These funds were approved by the General Assembly and match the other $2 million donation from IKEA to fortify this initiative.

The money will go to the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia and support 20 Legal Aid lawyers to provide services to tenants who are at risk of eviction for the next two years.

Virginia lawmakers approved the funds in April, which are supported by tax revenue from electronic skill machines.

On IKEA's end, they're doing what they can to support pandemic recovery efforts. They're providing partner states with a donation that's equal to the amount given to their employees in unemployment benefits. Northam requested their donation go towards eviction relief in Virginia.

The company has stores in Norfolk and Woodbridge.

“Our Commonwealth faced an eviction crisis before COVID-19 arrived in early March, and the ongoing global pandemic is making this problem even worse,” said Governor Northam. “We are deeply grateful to IKEA for this generous donation that, coupled with money from the COVID-19 Relief Fund and other federal resources, will help more Virginians stay in their homes as we fight this virus. In an unprecedented crisis and financial uncertainty, we must be able to get relief to vulnerable populations quickly and efficiently—this additional funding will make that possible.”

“We are appreciative of the ongoing support from the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the unemployment funds paid to our co-workers who were furloughed in the early weeks of the pandemic,” said Javier Quiñones, IKEA Retail U.S. president. “People are the heart of our business, and these unemployment benefits helped IKEA U.S. co-workers during a difficult time. We now have a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our business, and we’ve decided to pay it forward to support the ongoing relief efforts in our local communities.”

For more on how you can receive legal assistance, visit the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia.

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