Arlington has joined the Northern Virginia Eviction Prevention and Community Stability Task Force, a diverse coalition of stakeholders from the housing sector in Northern Virginia, to identify best practices to prevent evictions and stabilize households.
Recognizing that the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a wave of evictions and a spike in homelessness with community-wide impact, including a disproportionate impact on communities of color, the Task Force was co-convened by the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance (NVAHA) and Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV). It includes advocates, attorneys, landlords, property owners, and human service providers, along with representatives of local government agencies, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Senator Tim Kaine’s office.
The Task Force is unique in its balanced, multi-pronged approach to eviction prevention, which seeks to address the needs of all stakeholders, and recognizes that the housing crisis facing our region and our nation will not be solved through an eviction moratorium alone.
Eviction Prevention and Housing Stability Toolkit
The Task Force created the Northern Virginia Eviction Prevention and Housing Stability Toolkit, which promotes tenants’ rights education and access to rental assistance and other public relief programs. In addition to information for tenants, the Toolkit includes guidance for local governments on how to help small, market affordable property owners avoid foreclosure, and recommendations for state and federal policies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19-related housing instability.
“For Arlington residents and landlords, we want to emphasize that there are resources and options available now, and new ones coming on line all the time,” said Heather Venner, who runs the Arlington Community Assistance Bureau within the County’s Department of Human Services and is a member of the Task Force. “The County, community organizations, and other partners are providing financial assistance, food assistance, and health assistance for those who need it.”
Looking to the Future
The looming wave of evictions resulting from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire housing and human services sector, and all stakeholders have a role to play in preventing evictions and promoting community stability. The Northern Virginia Eviction Prevention and Community Stability Task Force is a collaborative, regional initiative to bring cross-sector solutions to this economic and public health crisis.
In addition to Arlington, the regional coalition includes representatives from the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, and Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties. This provides local government staff the opportunity to learn from the successes and challenges experienced by neighboring localities. Landlords and non-profit organizations operating in multiple jurisdictions can stay abreast of available assistance in each community where they work, and human service providers can offer timely referrals to residents moving out of their service area following an eviction.
Help Is Available
Arlington residents are encouraged to call 703-228-1300 or visit publicassistance.arlingtonva.us for help. Renters and landlords can find additional information and resources on Arlington’s COVID-19 Coronavirus FAQs for Renters and Landlords website.
For more information on the Northern Virginia Eviction Prevention and Community Stability Task Force, contact Nora Daly at firstname.lastname@example.org.