More people could face homelessness as federal eviction moratorium ends July 31

Miriam’s House in Lynchburg is providing help to vulnerable households

Federal eviction moratorium is coming to an end, and we're working for you to find out how that affects those potentially facing homelessness,

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Federal aid for tenants behind on their rent and facing eviction is set to expire on July 31.

That means more people could be without a place to live.

Miriam’s House in Lynchburg is taking action to make sure tenants don’t become homeless.

“Once that eviction moratorium is lifted, really the floodgates open,” said Sarah Quarantotto, executive director of Miriam’s House.

The CDC eviction moratorium has been providing financial aid to households impacted by COVID-19.

The federal program that was extended multiple times during the pandemic is running out.

Quarantotto says they’re helping vulnerable households.

“Maybe it’s been harder for them to gain income because of childcare problems or maybe the jobs they do have are still not quite covering their rent.”

Miriam’s House is currently assisting about 100 formerly homeless households to get back up on their feet.

One major resource is Virginia’s rent relief program.

Quarantotto is getting the word out by partnering with the Virginia Legal Aid Society.

Attorney Jeremy White says the program pays three months’ rent — and more people are eligible than you think.

“If you had any increase in expenses, decrease in income, if there were changes in the household and someone had to stay home for a period of time for childcare with school out; any of those things are enough to qualify,” said White.

You must register online.

Quarantotto says the fear is that while they’re helping some tenants, others don’t know resources are available.

“Our biggest concern are folks who we don’t know about, those who have fallen behind on their rent and haven’t been evicted because of the eviction moratorium.”

If you need assistance, you can call the Virginia Legal Aid Society toll-free line at 866-534-5243 or the navigator who helps with the application process at 434-422-5161.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.