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In Virginia, a new coalition tries to tackle the high eviction rate

Megan Pauly Jan 2, 2019
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The Richmond skyline is viewed from across the James River on July 23, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.
Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images

Richmond, Virginia has one of the highest eviction rates in the country. In Richmond, more than 10 percent of renters are evicted every year. Advocates there are working to change that statistic through a new coalition.

“Eviction really is hugely disruptive to families,” said Heather Crislip, CEO for Housing Opportunities Made Equal. She’s asked the city for about $460,000 to pilot a voluntary eviction diversion effort for a year. It would provide families that have received eviction notices with about a month’s worth of rent. She has partnered in her efforts with Martin Wegbreit, director of litigation for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, which plans to help connect families with pro bono lawyers to help mediate payment plan discussions between tenants and landlords.

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