Earlier this month Gov. Ralph Northam extended Virginia’s moratorium on evictions until this Sunday, June 28, saying that “access to safe and stable housing is critically important.”
But as the day approaches, the thousands of Virginians facing housing insecurity during the pandemic are still waiting on details of a rent relief program the governor announced. Northam’s office had not returned a request for comment at the time of publication.
The most recent data from non-profit Housing Virginia found 75% of extremely-low income, or ELI, Virginians are “severely-rent burdened”. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “severely-rent burdened” classifies any household that pays over 50% of their income on rent.
They also found that 4,179 Virginians are living in emergency shelters, 745 people are living in transitional housing and 859 people are living without shelter. The state’s eviction rate is currently at 5% and the state’s rate of poverty is almost at 11%.
Here are some of the counties that have the highest percentages of ELI residents that are severely rent burdened.
- Manassas City- 87.1%
- Harrisonburg City- 86.3%
- Arlington- 85%
- Manassas Park City- 84.2%
- Winchester City- 82.5%
- Prince William County- 82.1%
- Page County- 81.1%
- Culpeper County- 80.1%
- Fairfax County- 75.9%
- Frederick City- 75%
- Loudoun County 72.9%
- Richmond City- 72.1%
- Accomack County- 71%
- Alexandria- 70.3%
“The coronavirus pandemic puts all Virginia households under economic stress. This is more acute for families and individuals who are lower income and housing insecure,” said the non-profit.
The state’s current amount of COVID-19 cases is 65% for every 10,000 people as of June 16. The commonwealth has seen 58,000 total cases of coronavirus, with an increase of 471 since Sunday.