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Housing & Evictions

Housing and Evictions

At the beginning of the COVID outbreak VOICE conducted a listening campaign throughout our region to better understand how the pandemic was affecting our community.  VOICE had conversations with over 2,000 people, mainly parents in Title 1 schools, tenants living in affordable housing buildings, and members within VOICE’s own member institutions.

The number one issue that emerged was the fear of eviction.  Since that time, VOICE has sprung into action and achieved the following victories.

  • Created political space for a temporary eviction moratorium that impacted approximately 50,000-100,000 mostly Black and Brown low-income renters. VOICE leaders met key key state officials, US Senators officials, Attorney General Mark Herring, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons.
  • Fought for $50 million initial investment from the state for its rental relief program, with the goal of winning hundreds of millions more over the coming months to address the huge scope of the eviction crisis.
  • In public housing in Alexandria VOICE tenant and clergy leaders reached an agreement with the public housing authority that there would be no evictions until at least March 2021.This may be the only agreement of its kind in the country; it was organized by VOICE public housing tenants who have a strong record of organizing and doing effective nonpartisan Get-Out-the-Vote work.
  • Worked with the VA Attorney General to stop illegal evictions. Landlords were still sending threatening eviction letters even during the eviction moratorium. VOICE leaders worked to stop this in individual buildings and by working with Attorney General Herring who sent a letter to the national association of apartment owners