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Virginia has paid out about $650 million in rent, mortgage relief payments

After changing its online portal, the Rent Relief Program is paying out more than any other point in the pandemic.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia has paid out more than $650 million to people who have needed help paying rent throughout the pandemic, with most of the money coming from federal stimulus programs.

The most recent data from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) shows the Rent Relief Program (RRP) is sending out more money to people now than at any other point in the pandemic.

In total, through federal aid and the Virginia Housing Trust Fund, the state amassed more than a billion dollars to help people pay rent and to reduce the number of evictions.

Housing – and being able to afford it – has been a concern for many people in Hampton Roads.

“You never know, We don’t even want to face the possibilities," Gina Doxie, who lives in Norfolk, said in December.

Through January 15, 2022, about $647 million was paid to more than 86,000 households throughout Virginia, meaning more than $300 million in funds still are available to eligible and continued applicants.

Most of these payments have gone to households of families with children who have very low incomes. DHCD reports more than 79% of those families live at or below 30% of area of median income.

After starting payments in the summer of 2020, the program has grown in scale significantly in recent months.

The DHCD says $79 million from the RRP was sent to people in December –  the most of any month.

The next highest was $52.5 million in September 2021.

The increase could be a byproduct of the RRP changing to a single online portal system for both landlords and tenants on December 1.

To see if you're eligible for rental or mortgage assistance, visit the DHCD's Rent Relief Program page on its website.

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