Stoney administration launches rent relief program for qualified immigrant families
Today, the city launched a program to provide rent and mortgage assistance to non-citizen and mixed immigration status households in Richmond. This program is designed to support those Richmonders excluded from federal assistance due to their immigration status.
The program is made possible by a $250,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations, a non-profit organization based in New York dedicated to providing assistance to groups excluded from federal assistance, such as non-citizens, mixed-status families and those with limited English proficiency working in domestic service jobs and other essential industries.
To assist as many households as possible, funds per household will be limited to $1500 or up to two months of rent, whichever is less. This support program is intended to aid households who are having trouble paying rent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants who have not received any other cash assistance throughout the pandemic will be given priority.
Applicants will work with the bilingual staff of the city’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Help1RVA to determine their eligibility for the program, apply for assistance and complete the verification process.
“We are grateful for this grant, which will allow us to help bridge the gap for those individuals and families who usually are excluded from receiving government assistance and who play a crucial role in keeping our economy going,” said Karla Almendarez-Ramos, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The funds will be sent directly to the landlord or property manager. Applicants must provide proof of income and a valid lease or mortgage statement confirming the landlord-tenant relationship.
Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) of Virginia, the administrator of the city’s Eviction Diversion Program, will be in charge of making payments to landlords and property managers.
“HOME of VA is proud to partner with the City of Richmond as the fiscal agent to ensure access for vulnerable, underserved, and at-risk populations in the most integrated settings within the community,” said Monica Jefferson, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HOME. “Housing assistance can make a significant difference in the economic well-being of low-income families and those facing complex housing barriers.”
“If there’s one lesson we should take away from this pandemic, it is that everyone, regardless of immigration status, deserves a place to feel safe and secure,” said Mayor Stoney of the program. “This targeted effort will support families often overlooked in the design and implementation of public support programs, and I am so thankful that so many were willing to come around the table and find a fix to this challenge.”
Interested parties can learn more here.