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Lawmakers Working to Iron Out Wrinkles in Eviction Protections

Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ

Lawmakers are back in Richmond trying to figure out how to spend billions of dollars in federal stimulus money.

With the federal eviction moratorium now a thing of the past, many advocates are worried that a wave of evictions is on the horizon. That's why lawmakers are considering a proposal that would require landlords apply for rental assistance before evicting anyone.

Senator Chap Petersen is a Democrat from Fairfax City who says that should not apply to small-scale landlords with four properties or fewer.


"The landlord oftentimes wants the property back because you're dealing with a situation where you have someone who's not paying rent. That's not a healthy situation if you're a landlord," he explains. "Plus you seem to think that applying to the federal government is no fuss no muss, and they'll just open up your application and write you a check that day. It doesn't work that way."


Delegate Cia Price is a Democrat from Newport News who says this is not the time to evict people who are having a hard time making ends meet.


"This should not be used as an opportunity to get rid of anyone," explains Price. "Get your money, and then let's move forward."


Both the House and the Senate would need to agree on an exemption for small-scale landlords, so the fate of this proposal will play out as the special session progresses this week.

***Editor's Note: President Biden is expected to announce a new, 60-day federal eviction moratorium for some parts of the country, according to the Associated Press.

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

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.