Richmond (February 13, 2019) – In 2016, five Virginia cities ranked in Eviction Lab’s top 10 cities with the highest eviction rates in the United States. After this revelation, Democrats in both the House of Delegates and the Senate got to work to remedy this major issue.
“Every Virginian deserves a safe place to call home,” said Delegate Lamont Bagby. “By supporting more affordable housing, we can address the devastating impacts of Virginia’s high eviction rates.”
“The displacement of vulnerable communities is not the nationwide record we want to be setting in the Commonwealth,” said Delegate Jeff Bourne. “Instead of throwing people out on the streets, we have to help people get back on their feet and ensure every Virginian has a safe place to call home.”
Democrats in the House of Delegates have passed several bills to help alleviate the burden felt by those unfairly impacted by Virginia’s housing situation:
- HB 1923 – Introduced by Delegate Bourne, entitles tenants to attorney fees when a court rules in their favor against a landlord.
- HB 2007 – Introduced by Delegate Aird, clarifies eviction terminology and stipulates that execution cannot occur within 30 days of issuance.
- HB 2054 – Introduced by Delegate Carr, requires landlords to provide a written rental agreement to tenants.
- HB 2229 – Introduced by Delegate Bagby, allows localities to waive building fees for affordable housing developments.
- HB 1681 – Introduced by Delegate Jones, expands eligibility for the housing choice voucher tax credit to low-income communities in Hampton Roads.
HB 1923, 2007, and 2229 passed their second reading in the Senate today. HB 2054 and 1681 have passed both chambers and are expected to be signed by the Governor.
These bills are a step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done. House Democrats are committed to implementing affordable housing reform and protecting vulnerable communities from evictions.