Calls to VPLC’s Eviction Legal Help Line Increase 500%

Now that important tenant protections have expired, Virginia courtroom dockets are stacked with eviction filings — as rents continue to skyrocket and the federally funded rent relief program has ended. VPLC’s Eviction Legal Helpline is stretching to meet the need, as a typical week might bring more than 250 calls from desperate residents about to […]

Lonnie “Chip” D. Nunley, III Selected for Pro Bono Award

It’s been said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. If this Mahatma Gandhi quote is true, you can bet Chip Nunley certainly knows himself inside and out. The long-serving litigator and trusted member of VPLC’s Advisory Council will receive the 2022 Lewis F. Powell, Jr. […]

Virginia’s Eviction Crisis

Since July 1, Virginia has seen nearly 16,000 new eviction cases, marking the end of the state’s rent relief program and the expiration of temporary legal protections provided to tenants during COVID-19. In that time there have been more than 1,800 calls to VPLC’s Eviction Legal Helpline. That’s far more than the staff and volunteer […]

Final Settlement in Class Action Suit Pays Hundreds of Millions from Illegal Internet Lending Schemes

Gibbs v. Elevate, Gibbs v. Stinson, Brice v. Stinson The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia this week approved a settlement in the last of nine class action lawsuits against entities that sought to evade state and federal law by making extremely high-interest internet loans in Virginia and other states. The August […]

Hundreds of Richmond Renters Get a Crash Course on Legal Rights

A Community Education and Engagement Specialist with VPLC’s Housing Advocacy team recently learned of emerging problems at the Pointe at River City apartment complex in Eastern Henrico County. After hearing about some of the issues facing tenants, the advocacy team spent a Friday afternoon combing through records at Henrico General District court. They discovered that more […]

Federal and State Lawsuits Fight ‘Slumlord’ Operating in Virginia

The Virginia Poverty Law Center, Consumer Litigation Associates and Kelly Guzzo have filed federal and state lawsuits on behalf of tenants of the Seaview Apartments in Newport News. The lawsuits name Seaview Apartments LLC and Ben Weinstein and his New Jersey-based company Blue Rise Group as defendants. Fifty-eight tenants are prosecuting their claims under the […]

2022 Session Update: Week Two

This was a busy week at the General Assembly for VPLC advocates. We often must try and follow bills being heard in two or even three committees that meet at the same time! Please encourage your legislators to do the right thing and publicly praise them when they do. Below, an update on some of our issues […]

2022 Session Update: New Leadership, Same Mission

The 2022 General Assembly is off and running, with 1,938 House and Senate bills filed — and more expected to come. Our advocates are dealing with a lot of change this year: a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members in the House of Delegates, and committee chairs. But among the change, one thing remains […]

How Upfront Fees Make Rental Housing Unaffordable

An update from VPLC’s Director of Housing Advocacy, Christie Marra The NY Times Article outing Virginia as home to the top evictors in the nation, the nationwide eviction moratorium early in the pandemic, and the news articles about our country’s affordable housing crisis have put making safe and healthy housing for all at or near […]

Update on Eviction Protections in Virginia

A year and a half into the pandemic, laws around tenants’ right continue to change at a rapid pace. Here’s a quick update on what you need to know about eviction protections and important resources that can help those struggling to stay safely housed. CDC Eviction Protections Have Ended Last week the US Supreme Court […]

2021 Special Session Recap: How VPLC’s Budget Priorities Fared

When the General Assembly convened for a special 2021 session, we urged lawmakers to prioritize Virginians hit hardest by the pandemic with a budget focused on equity. Not all of our priorities were funded, but we will continue to push for these in the state’s next budget. Below, here’s how our recommended budget priorities fared […]

Equitable Rescue & Recovery: VPLC Special Session Budget Priorities

The Virginia General Assembly will convene in Richmond on Monday, August 2 for a special legislative session to allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding and fill judicial vacancies. The remaining $4.3 billion comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which has provided essential relief to millions of American workers – many of […]

PRESS RELEASE: New anti-poverty laws take effect in Virginia today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 The suite of new laws will protect tenants, help families with food assistance, expand health coverage, protect consumers, and more. Richmond, VA – Effective today, several new laws in the Commonwealth will benefit hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. The new laws include better protections for tenants, expansion of […]

New Housing Laws Take Effect Today

Big changes in housing law are taking effect in Virginia, with many temporary eviction protections expiring soon and new housing laws that passed during the 2021 legislative session going into effect today. Read below to learn more about the major updates. EVICTION PROTECTIONS   Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium extended to July 31, 2021: The CDC Eviction […]

Housing Advocacy Session Update: Week Three

Welcome to the third week of the 2021 legislative session. We have bills up this week that need your support! Dear fellow housing advocates, The 2021 Virginia legislative session is in its third week now. We have made great progress on tenants’ rights in this short session and have more to go! With the help […]

Housing Advocacy Session Update: Week Two

Welcome to the second week of the 2021 legislative session. We have bills up this week that need your support! Dear fellow housing advocates, Welcome to the second week of the 2021 legislative session! Thank you to everyone who signed up and spoke in support of tenants’ rights legislation last week. We are happy to […]

Update from VPLC’s Housing Advocacy Team: Support Tenants’ Rights During 2021 Session

2021 legislative session starts today. Join us in supporting policies that improve rights and opportunities for tenants. Dear fellow housing advocates, It’s the first day of the 2021 legislative session, and we’re excited to continue our advocacy to defend, preserve, and enhance opportunities for low-income Virginians! We hope you will join us this session in support […]

Volunteers Needed for Eviction Legal Helpline

Research shows that eviction is a significant cause, not just a result, of poverty. And Virginia is suffering an eviction crisis among the worst in the nation. But no one should be forced from their home and have their life turned upside down simply because they don’t know their rights. Easy access to reliable legal information […]

Eviction Spotlight: Vietnam War vet faces eviction over PTSD-triggered confrontation with property manager

At VPLC, we witness many landlords taking advantage of low-income Virginians through our Eviction Legal Helpline. The Eviction Spotlight series seeks to shed light on these stories. Mr. Bell,* a longtime resident of Richmond, is a resourceful Vietnam war veteran who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other ailments from his service in combat. […]

Summer CAMHP in the Parks program brings community lawyering to mobile home parks

When residents of mobile home parks encounter a problem, legal aid attorneys across the state are there to help. From crumbling, ill-maintained park infrastructure to illegal mid-term rent increases, residents often face legal challenges and cannot afford a private attorney. But in these areas with severe need for legal assistance, many residents do not know […]

New landlord-tenant laws, foster care reform, and restored driver’s licenses: new Virginia laws take effect July 1

Today, hundreds of new laws that passed during this year’s General Assembly go into effect, from new landlord-tenant laws to foster care reform. Here are a few to note. Other New Laws Related to VPLC Focus Areas Medicaid and Mental Health: An adopted budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid primary care physicians and licensed mental health […]

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