Monday, January 30, 2023


Massachusetts could restrict police use of facial recognition technology, Wyoming mulls more health coverage for workers, and a report finds low salary contributes to social workers leaving the field.


Civil rights activists push for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act following the killing of Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he can reach a deal with President Biden on the debt ceiling, and election experts say 2023 could shape voting rights across the country.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Grant Funding Aims to Alleviate Virginia Eviction Crisis


Tuesday, January 24, 2023   

About $3-million has been awarded to Virginia groups helping people facing evictions. The Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot Program is designed to find effective services for people facing housing instability. According to the R-V-A Virginia Eviction Lab's third quarter report, eviction filings increased 86% from the previous quarter, with Charlottesville seeing some of the largest increases. Much of this is due to pandemic-related renter protections being lifted.

Christie Marra, director of housing advocacy with the Virginia Poverty Law Center, said while this third round of funding is a much-needed financial boost, it is not enough.

"The programs that are getting the funding now are not getting enough to meet the need in their area," Marra said. "And so, while the eviction rates for every locality that has a VERP-funded program serving it did go down, there is a lot of room for improvement."

She added that in the past, one of the groups that received funding went through it in two months. As the Virginia General Assembly's legislative session gets under way, tenant's rights legislation is one issue at the forefront of legislators' minds. One such piece of legislation, the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, seeks to increase the grace period for late rent, and would allow tenants to break leases when they move in and find a unit is uninhabitable.

While these grants are working to alleviate the eviction crisis, Marra hopes proposals for other tenant assistance programs will be taken up as well. One in particular is the Virginia Housing Stability Fund, which would be a state housing voucher program.

Marra acknowledged it won't come cheap, but said this program could aid numerous families.

"What we're asking for is for 90 million, and this would be a one-time ask for this pilot program to serve 5,000 households over the period of four years," she said.

In addition to gathering data, this program will also provide longer-term financial support than most VERP. The program hopes to bridge the gap between the shortage of affordable housing and the numerous Virginians who qualify for the federal housing voucher program, but can't receive it due to limited federal funding.

Disclosure: Virginia Poverty Law Center contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Housing/Homelessness, Poverty Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Facial-recognition technology companies, which originally partnered with law enforcement, are now working with schools and universities to increase safety and prevent shootings by denying campus access to people who have been banned, or to monitor activity inside school buildings. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…


Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …

Social Issues

Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …

Since the beginning of 2022, seven Western states have initiated programs to maintain wildlife habitat and safe passage, through fencing, signs, overpasses and underpasses, according to Pew research. (TaborChichakly/Adobe Stock)


Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…

Social Issues

A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …

Super Bowl LVII will be held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12. (Katherine Welles/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…

Health and Wellness

It is not a pandemic yet, but eye doctors worry the constant use of digital devices could eventually result in long-term health problems for many …


Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021