Update from VPLC’s Housing Advocacy Team: Support Tenants’ Rights During 2021 Session
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
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 of policies that improve rights and opportunities for tenants.
VPLC supports legislation to:
- – Expand the right of redemption and improve notice to tenants. HB2014 (Delegate Price)
- – Give families time to pay rent and stay housed. HB1889 (Delegate Price)
- – Stop unlawful evictions. SB1215/HB1900 (Senator Ebbin/Delegate Hudson)
- – Strengthen protections for tenants serving in the military. HB2161 (Senator Bell/Delegate Tran)
- – Protect vulnerable tenants during a pandemic. HB1981 (Delegate Carr)
- – Increase funding to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.
- – Establish a public database of all mobile home communities in Virginia.
To support tenants’ rights legislation: send written comment or speak during virtual committee
To speak in support of tenants’ rights legislation during session, you can (1) send written comments, or (2) speak during a virtual committee meeting via phone or computer when the bill is being heard. Signing up for public testimony is not a guarantee that you will get to be heard. The legislature is running on a tight schedule, and many committee chairs are limiting the amount of time for public testimony. We encourage people to submit written comment in addition to speaking!
To give testimony in the House
- – To sign up for live testimony via zoom, sign up ahead of time on hodspeak.house.virginia.gov.
- – There will also be sign-up links in the meeting agenda, which will be available on LIS. The sign-up will close an hour before the meeting starts, and everyone who has signed up will get a zoom link 30 minutes before the meeting begins.
- – To submit written testimony, follow the same link used for spoken comment.
We will provide instructions on how to sign up for public testimony on Senate bills once it is available.
The first of the tenants’ rights bills, HB1900 and HB 1889, will be heard in the House General Laws, Housing Sub-Committee on Thursday, January 14 at 7 a.m. Sign up now to give written or spoken testimony!
Stay updated on the legislative session:
We will send periodic email updates with information on when bills are up in committee and links for signing up to give public testimony. If you would like to track the bills yourself, you can do so by visiting ‘Lobbyist-in-a-Box’ and selecting which bills you would like to follow.
Thank you again for your support. Together, we can continue breaking down the systemic barriers that keep low-income Virginians in poverty.
Director of Housing Advocacy
Equal Justice Works Housing Justice Program Fellow