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Video: “VOICE” Zoom Call Participants Call on Gov. Northam to Pause Evictions; Ask General Assembly for Expanded Renter Protections

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See below for a video recording of the VOICE (“Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement”) news conference today, “in which 160+ renters and faith leaders called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to pause evictions to allow time for his new rent relief program to be implemented and for the General Assembly, when it convenes on Aug. 18th, to address expanded renter protections.”  Also, check out the very moving video, below, with the story of Guiseppe, a renter who is facing eviction through no fault of his own. Just to quote a few of the comments during the call:

  • “Nothing good will come from evictions. Where would the evicted people and their families go?  Who would move in when people cannot work and earn a living?” (Thomas J. Villa / Clarendon Presbyterian Church, Arlington)
  • “When I think of kids trying to do remote school…without a place to live…or with the stress of pending eviction on the family…it should break all our hearts. we need to act.” (Rev. Casey Wait, John Calvin Presbyterian Church, Annandale)
  • “Mass evictions due to COVID-19 will be a socio-economic disaster of unimaginable proportions if nothing is done.  People who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 are not at fault and should not be thrown out to the streets.  Currently, according to the Eviction Lab, Virginia is one of the worst states for dealing with this issue.  The time for action is now.” (Robert Rozen, Temple Rodef Shalom, Falls Church)
  • “Homelessness also increases the vulnerability of displaced women and children to be victims of sexual and domestic violence.” (Rev. Melynda Clarke, Pastor Bethel AME Church, Woodbridge)