Feb 5, 2024 - News

Rent relief could come to Virginia

Illustration of a repeating pattern of houses made out of hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Help could be on the way for Virginians who rent.

What's happening: A pair of proposals are making their way through the state legislature that could offer meaningful relief for local renters.

Zoom in: House Bill 721 would let localities limit how much and how often landlords can increase monthly rent by creating "anti rent gouging" ordinances.

  • If passed and adopted by localities, it would cap annual rent increases at 7% or tie it to the Consumer Price Index increases, whichever is less.
  • It would require landlords give at least two months written notice for rent increases, limit rent increases to no more than one a year, and let local governments fine landlords who don't comply with any requirement.

A companion bill is also up for consideration in the Senate.

Meanwhile, two Richmond-area state lawmakers submitted an amendment to Gov. Glenn Youngkin's proposed budget to create a monthly rental assistance pilot program, VPM reports.

  • If approved, the program would set aside $100 million over the next two years to fund monthly rental help for 5,000 low-income Virginia families.
  • The amendment is intended to help families with school-age kids who rent stay in their homes through the school year without academic interruption.
  • The income requirements would be 50% or less of an area's median income.
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