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Housing Coalition Looks to Tackle Virginia’s High Eviction Rates



A coalition of housing advocates is working together to reduce evictions across Virginia. According to a recent report, five of the top ten large US cities with high eviction rates are in the commonwealth.

According to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, Richmond, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Chesapeake all have eviction rates higher than 7-percent.

“The only surprise, was how surprised everyone else was,” says Marty Wegbreit, an attorney with Central Virginia Legal Aid Society.  “Welcome to my world. Or really, welcome to the world of my clients.”

Wegbreit said the data just makes clear what he calls “the crisis hidden in plain view.”

“There are at least three good reasons why Virginia has such a high eviction rate. Poverty is one, the lack of affordable housing is two. And Virginia’s laws is three,” he says.

Wegbreit points to the state’s landlord tenant laws as being unfavorable and unfair to tenants. The new Campaign to Reduce Evictions will focus on reforming those laws. They’ll also study how to increase the supply of affordable housing and how to provide more support to tenants.

The Campaign to Reduce Evictions will hold its kick off meeting from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church, 2709 Monument Avenue.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.


Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.