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. […]

Meet Anna Daniszewski, Family Defense Fellow

New to VPLC’s Center for Family Advocacy, Anna Daniszewski will help ensure that parents involved in Virginia’s child welfare system have zealous lawyers fighting for their families.  Daniszewski’s fellowship includes legislative and policy advocacy, providing legal services to parents, and developing trainings, practice protocols, and accountability standards. “Too often, children and parents are needlessly separated […]

Reducing the Trauma of Removal

Why Reunification and Sibling-Placements Are Crucial to the Well-Being of Children in the Child Welfare System By Courtney Squires, Summer Intern for the VPLC Center for Family Advocacy, University of Richmond School of Law To ensure the child welfare system works in the best interest of children, it is important to understand that removal and […]

Meet Our New VPLC Team Members

Flannery O’Rourke has joined VPLC as a Law & Policy Analyst. She will support legislative efforts within our Center for Healthy Communities in the areas of unemployment benefits and social security. She recently received her Juris Doctor degree from University of Richmond. Miranda Huffer is the newest member of the Development team. After a successful […]

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 […]

Grant Aims to Improve Access to Justice

VPLC is the recipient of a $32,500 grant from the Virginia Law Foundation. Funds will be used to host the 2022 Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference. The education and training event is known as one of the best civil poverty-law conferences in the U.S. VLF grants awarded to two dozen organizations increase access to legal […]

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 […]

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 […]

Virginia Poverty Law Center Expands Outreach

New Team Members Help Break Down Barriers to Justice  RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) welcomes two new Outreach Coordinators, a new LA VIDA Program Paralegal, a new Communications Director and, a new Office and Finance Manager to the team. Fresh off the heels of landmark wins against the Virginia Employment Commission […]

Virginia Must Do Better By Families 

By Valerie L’Herrou Families are important to all of us, but especially to children. As British pediatrician and psychologist DW Winnicott put it, “There is no such thing as a baby. If you set out to describe a baby, you will find you are describing a baby and someone. A baby cannot exist alone, but […]

PRESS RELEASE: Class action settlement provides $489 million in relief to victims of illegal internet payday lenders

After three years of extensive litigation, the settlement will provide relief to approximately 555,000 consumers who were subject to illegal practices by internet payday lenders. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2022   Richmond, VA – The federal court in Richmond today gave preliminary approval of a class action settlement that will provide $489 million of relief to […]

PRESS RELEASE: Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center on Gubernatorial Vetoes of HB573 and SB297 (Medical Debt Reform)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2022 Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center state that Governor Youngkin’s vetoes of Del. Clark’s HB573 and Sen. Deeds’ SB297 have derailed critical, popular, and thoughtfully crafted bipartisan consumer debt reforms for thousands upon thousands of Virginians. Richmond, VA – Outstanding bills for medical treatment are one […]

PRESS RELEASE: VPLC selects Salaam Bhatti as its new deputy director, hires Cassie Edner as its new public benefits attorney

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Salaam Bhatti Cassie Edner RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) has welcomed Salaam Bhatti as the organization’s new deputy director and Cassie Edner as its new public benefits attorney. Bhatti was previously VPLC’s public benefits attorney for five years; Edner was previously a public benefits attorney at the Legal […]

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 […]

Why Language Access is Essential for Domestic Violence Survivors

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this post comes from VPLC’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Attorney, Susheela Varky. Imagine you have to go to court — whether it’s to pursue your own case against someone who has wronged you or because you’ve received a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case. Most […]

Celebrating National Energy Efficiency Day – and Continuing the Work to Rebuild Virginia’s Energy Landscape into a Balanced and Equitable System

October 6 is National Energy Efficiency Day. Today’s post comes from VPLC’s Director of Outreach and Consumer Advocacy, Dana Wiggins and Affordable Clean Energy Project Coordinator, Carmen Bingham. Energy Efficiency and the Affordable Clean Energy Project Energy efficiency is the least cost resource for energy, because the least expensive kilowatt hour is the one you […]

SNAP Expansion: What You Need to Know

On July 1, 2021, Virginia expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), making over 25,000 families in Virginia newly eligible for food assistance. Here’s what you need to know about the program’s recent changes and available resources that can help with determining eligibility and the application process. The SNAP Eligibility […]

“Family First:” Prioritizing Kinship Foster Care 

In honor of National Kinship Care Month, today’s newsletter comes from VPLC’s Family and Child Welfare Attorney, Valerie L’Herrou with University of Richmond School of Law student Megan Kaleah. Kinship care means the “full-time care, nurturing, and protection of children by relatives.” Relatives may care for children through informal arrangements with parents, through foster care, […]

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 […]

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