Hundreds of Richmond Renters Get a Crash Course on Legal Rights

Monday, August 8th, 2022

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

Friday, August 5th, 2022

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

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

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 

Monday, June 27th, 2022

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

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

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)

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

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

Monday, February 28th, 2022

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 […]

2022 Session Update: What’s in the Budget?

Friday, February 25th, 2022

On Sunday, each body of the General Assembly reported its budget. As expected, we have good news and bad news around which of our priorities received funding. While we’re disappointed some of our priorities didn’t make it into the budgets, we’re hopeful about the items that have been included, and we’ll continue bringing up the […]

2022 Session Update: Keep Speaking Up for Low-income Virginians

Friday, February 4th, 2022

We’re winding down week three of the General Assembly session. While some of our bills haven’t made it, many are still moving forward, and that progress has only been possible with your help. Together, in just three weeks, we’ve generated over 150 calls, emails, and tweets to legislators on important legislation for low-income Virginians! These efforts […]

2022 Session Update: Week Two

Friday, January 28th, 2022

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

Friday, January 21st, 2022

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

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

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

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

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

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

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

Friday, September 17th, 2021

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 

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

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

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

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

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

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

Friday, July 30th, 2021

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

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

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 […]

PRESS RELEASE: Medicaid expands to cover full dental services, prenatal services regardless of immigration status

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Date:  July 1, 2021 Medicaid expands to cover full dental services, prenatal services regardless of immigration status Richmond, Va.— Effective today, Virginia has expanded Medicaid to cover dental benefits for all new and current enrollees as well as added new coverage for pregnant women regardless of their immigration status. The decision to […]

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