City of Alexandria Launches Eviction Prevention Task Force
For Immediate Release: October 8, 2020
The City of Alexandria has formed an Eviction Prevention Task Force to address the local effects of a national eviction crisis amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This multi-agency partnership is composed of representatives from the City's Department of Community & Human Services, Office of Housing and City Attorney's Office; the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office; and community partner representatives from Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Christ Church and Emergency Financial Providers. The goals of the task force include reducing the number of evictions in Alexandria, diminishing the impact of eviction on residents, and developing and implementing a long-term eviction prevention strategy that addresses the needs of residents and property owners.
One of the group’s immediate goals is a public outreach effort to increase awareness of financial assistance and other resources that can provide relief for renters, which can help ease the costs of eviction for renters, landlords and the community. Residents and stakeholders can access a continuously updated list of eviction prevention programs, resources and information, ranging from rental assistance programs and safety net services to toolkits and legal service information at alexandriava.gov/Housing.
The task force is collecting and sharing data and working to understand the local eviction landscape; identifying and resolving gaps in eviction prevention services; and engaging stakeholders to address this crisis. According to the Aspen Institute, the housing crisis amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply increased the risk of long-term harm to renter families and individuals, disruptions of the affordable housing market; and the risk of foreclosure and bankruptcy, especially among small property owners.
Additionally, the Institute reports eviction increases one’s likelihood of experiencing homelessness; diminishes mental and physical health; and reduces the probability of obtaining employment. Eviction is correlated with respiratory disease, which could increase the risk of complications if COVID-19 is contracted. Instability, like eviction, is particularly damaging to children, whose educational development and well-being can be affected.
The task force welcomes community input, cooperation and participation in ongoing projects and initiatives, including outreach to at-risk households and identifying renters who need assistance. The group is also seeking input from and collaboration with owners of rental properties. To submit input or inquire about opportunities to collaborate, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For inquiries from the news media only, contact Andrea Blackford, Senior Communications Officer, at email@example.com or 703.746.3959.
For reasonable disability accommodation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 571.384.5244, Virginia Relay 711.
This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/118209.