RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that he is allocating $12 million in additional funding from the federal CARES Act to Virginia’s Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP), due to the high demand for financial assistance.

The program is designed to help eligible households and landlords with rent and mortgage payments to avoid eviction or foreclosure as a result of the pandemic.

“We created this program because people need help to stay in their homes, especially when they are dealing with job and income losses because of this public health crisis and through no fault of their own,” said Northam.

The RMRP was launched in June with $50 million in federal CARES Act funding with the same goal — to help renters and homeowners impacted by the pandemic.

Last month, the program also began allowing landlords to apply for payments on behalf of tenants.

“We have seen high demand for the financial assistance provided through this program, which proves how much it needs to continue. A global pandemic is the worst time for Virginia families to face losing their homes, and we know that safe and stable housing is critical to helping people stay healthy as we continue to combat this virus,” Northam continued.

After the governor’s announcement, the Virginia Poverty Law Center released a statement:

“We are pleased that Governor Northam has allotted an additional $12 million into the Rent and Mortgage Relief fund, but more must be done to help the thousands of Virginians struggling to pay rent during this economic crisis. We continue to call upon our leaders in the executive branch, judiciary and legislature to fully fund rental assistance, fairly apply the tenant protections enacted by state and federal lawmakers, and put a complete stop to all residential evictions during this pandemic.”

The tenant-based application process is available throughout all localities in Virginia by more than 30 grantees. Families with children in the home represent the majority of households assisted by the program. The landlord-initiated application process is administered statewide by Virginia Housing.

As of October, state and federal eviction protections through the courts do not prevent rent and mortgage payments from accumulating.

To submit a landlord-initiated application, click here. Tenants interested in applying can click here.

Eligibility information can be found here or by dialing “2-1-1” from your phone to contact 211 VIRGINIA. Additional information can be found here.

Read the full Release.

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