Public Comments for 01/21/2021 General Laws - Housing/Consumer Protection Subcommittee
HB1889 - Va. Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord remedies, noncompliance with rental agreement.
Last Name: Borja Locality: Richmond

We know that housing is critical to support healthy communities, combat poverty, and ensure public safety. For these reasons, we should be doing all we can to ensure people remain housed. HB1889 allows us to achieve this goal in a way that still ensures landlords get their rent. I support HB1889 because increasing the pay or quit time from 5 days to 14 days gives people more time to pay rent. As most people are paid every 2 weeks, it is more likely to coincide with payday and thus makes rent more likely to get paid. A number of other states have 14 day or more pay/quit periods and they have not experienced the negative impacts that the bills’ opponents suggest. It is also common sense to require landlords (who own more than 4 units) to offer payment plans to tenants who have missed rent. This keeps people safely housed while ensuring that landlords get made whole.

Last Name: Rice Locality: Arlington

I'm writing in support of HB 1889. It's a bill that makes permanent common-sense reforms to help prevent the scourge of evictions in Virginia. As you all well know as legislators, evaluating policies often comes down to a balancing of interests. In this case, on the one side we have the ability of numerous Virginians (as many as 400,000 households who are at risk of eviction) to stay in their homes during a global pandemic and during an economic crisis. On the other side, is the ability of a smaller number of individuals to make a certain level of desired profit. The parade of horribles described by opponents of this bill simply isn't borne out by the evidence. Many other states have Pay or Quit periods of 14 days or more, and these states have not experienced the unsubstantiated theoretical negative impacts as a result of these more common-sense Pay or Quit periods. Both Vermont and Minnesota have Pay or Quit periods of 14 days, and, according to Princeton's eviction lab, these states have eviction rates of 0.09% and 0.59%, respectively.  Opponents also often mention the unsubstantiated theoretical impact such reforms would have on the ability of smaller landlords to pay their mortgages. But this argument fails for a number of reasons. First, the bill's payment plan provisions only apply to landlords who own more than 4 units or more than a 10 percent interest in more than 4 units. Second, as mentioned above, there's little evidence that 14-day Pay or Quit periods will lead to substantive economic crises for either landlords or tenants. And third, even if such a burden were to exist on the small number of small landlords at risk of missing full mortgage payments, this is more an argument for stronger mortgage relief programs than for standing by measures that kick struggling Virginians out of their homes during a national health and economic crisis. Eviction is an extreme remedy with extreme consequences for those put out of their homes. A wealth of data has demonstrated the significant negative impacts it has on both individual and community health, economic security, education, and public safety. There was an eviction crisis in Virginia even before the COVID-19 pandemic and the current national economic crisis that followed. As has been well-documented in comparative studies to other states, much of this has to do with the power imbalance between landlords and tenants, and the weakened rights of tenants under Virginia law. States with higher cost of living, higher unemployment, or other such economic indicators often still have lower eviction rates because their laws have a more common sense balance between landlord-tenant relations and stronger tenant rights and protections. Virginia must continue to take substantive steps towards reducing its eviction crisis and making the system more just for tenants across the Commonwealth. Implementing the common-sense reforms included in HB1889 is another positive step towards this admirable goal and should be adopted by the House.

Last Name: Lor Locality: Richmond

I urge you to support HB1889. We are currently in a public health crisis, and measures need to be taken to protect the communities that need it most. This legislation provides must needed protection of tenants and preventions of illegal evictions. It will provide a vital lifeline to families in Virginia to be able to stay in their homes.

Last Name: Goalder Locality: Richmond

I strongly support extending the pay or quit to fourteen days. Five days is not enough time for anyone to get another paycheck or pick up extra shifts and be able to pay back the rent. This bill can really help Richmond with not being the second worst in the country for evictions and help Virginia, as a whole state, be better. During a pandemic, we really shouldn't be evicting anyone and this is a great first step to help Virginians stay home safely. I also agree with a payment plan; that is much more helpful and understanding of the tenants situations than just evicting them. Please pass this bill and help support Virginians as we all deal with a pandemic.

Last Name: Shetty Locality: Virginia Beach

My name is Anisha Shetty and I’m from Virginia Beach. I strongly support making HB1889 a permanent protection for Virginians. Even before the pandemic, Virginia boasted the highest eviction rate in the country with Richmond as #2 in the country and 5 of our Hampton Roads cities in the top 15 large city evictors. This is a very real problem for Virginians.
 Currently evictions are a well-fueled machine with a powerful imbalance against tenants. HB1889 helps to slow that machine and prevent making evictions an easy default.  2 weeks versus 5 days and the push for payment plans better allow tenants the opportunity to get their affairs in order, to receive a paycheck, work out agreements with landlords and a real chance to keep tenants out of debt and housed. 
 Evictions for nonpayment of rent should not have the urgency we currently allow them - they clog the courts and disregard the very real trauma and costs that evictions inflict on families. Delegate Price’s bill is in all Virginians best interest - it is both more humane, practical and economically sound.  For those reasons, I urge the committee to support HB1889. 

Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

On behalf of HOME of Virginia, we support House Bills 2046, 1889, 1971, and 2249. We are grateful to the patrons for their continued advocacy around housing in Virginia, and particularly addressing the housing concerns and needs of marginalized communities.

Last Name: Hamilton Locality: Fairfax

Please support HB1889 to help stop evictions and keep people in their homes. This bill would provide a vital lifeline to help thousands of Virginians stay safe in their homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainties this is even more important to families and communities.

Last Name: deButts Organization: Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Locality: Loudoun County

Chairman Bulova, The Loudoun Chamber, which collectively represents over 1,000 member businesses and tens of thousands of employees across Loudoun County and the region, would like to express our organization’s opposition of Delegate Price’s bill, HB 1889. This bill is the wrong solution to the real problem of addressing housing needs of our citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic and after our economy has recovered. Removing the sunset on this bill, that originated as a temporary solution, does not solve the serious and long-term housing challenges of economic uncertainty and evictions. HB1889 will have far reaching unintended consequences to the very constituents this bill is attempting to serve and to the industry that the Commonwealth is relying upon to provide this critical service. If a tenant fully takes advantage of the “benefits” of this bill they will have accrued eight months in unpaid rent due in a single payment, or face immediate eviction, when they reach the end of the timeline allowed. Allowing a tenant to accrue this much debt, followed by an eviction on their permanent financial record, will place them in an even worse situation than one that would exist for them without this bill. The property owner is faced with an equally unfair position as nonpayment turns into unpaid debt for them and their credit institution. Property owners are key partners in our shared goal of creating more affordable housing in Virginia. This bill, at best, increases the financial burden that they alone are expected to bear, and at worse, puts them at risk of foreclosure and serves to discourage other private citizens and organizations from providing this service in the future. We believe that eviction and housing insecurity is real and critical issue that needs to be addressed- today, through temporary measures, and in the future, through thoughtful and sustainable legislation. This bill serves to do neither and will only hurt those it is attempting to help. For these reasons, the Loudoun Chamber respectfully requests that the Committee votes against HB1889. Thank you for considering the perspective of our on this issue of significant concern to the community we serve. Grafton deButts Vice President of Membership & Government Affairs Loudoun Chamber

Last Name: Carpenter Locality: Richmond

I am a tenant and I am a voter and I support HB 1889. My spouse is a Richmond City Public Schools teacher and they only get paid on the 1st and the 15th each month. A 14 day pay or quit would allow us to get another whole paycheck before the landlord could file a UD case. This isn't hypothetical, I lost my job back in March and we actually got a 14 day pay or quit last week. Rental relief also takes way longer to response than 5 days (the current pay or quit period). I, for instance, applied for ACTS rental relief in July and am *still* going through the process to get any money at all (and may be denied as making too much money even though my spouse is a teacher and I am unemployed). It is really important that the members of the House stand with tenants and bring Virginia's laws into line with other States. Landlords can say whether or not you have any pets, where over 50% of my income goes, if they *want* to make repairs, please don't also let them decide the fate of this legislation. Please stand up for your individual constituency over the interests of land holders.

Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

HB 1889 My name is Mariah Williams and I serve as the Director of housing policy and research at housing opportunities made equal (HOME) of Virginia and I am here to speak in support of HB1889, which would increase protections for tenants at risk of eviction throughout the Commonwealth. For over a year, we have administered Virginia’s first Eviction Diversion Program, which was established in the City of Richmond in October 2019. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our program has transitioned to both a prevention and diversion program in order to meet the needs of struggling households. In that time, we have worked with over 400 households to keep them stably housing by providing financial assistance. We’ve also had opportunity to understand that while the families we assist sometimes struggle to make ends meet, time is often a crucial factor is making sure they can remain stably housed and avoid eviction. We support extending the period to pay late rent before a court case can be filed from 5 days to 14 days because it allows the tenant additional time to receive another paycheck or access the funds through other financial networks. Additionally, this extension allows for tenants to seek assistance from housing counselors and organizations that provide eviction prevention services, something that is much easier to do when given a longer timeframe. We urge you to consider this as not only as a need during the Commonwealth’s health crisis, but one that is beneficial to tenants in the future. HB2046 The Commonwealth of Virginia faces a serious shortage of affordable housing options. NIMBYism among surrounding communities often serves as a barrier to the development of new affordable housing. Localities reinforce NIMBYism by blocking efforts to build affordable housing based on unfounded stereotypes about who may live there. This perpetuates long-lasting patterns of segregation and exclusion. All Virginians, no matter their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or disability, deserve access to safe and affordable housing in neighborhoods of their choice.

Last Name: Washington Locality: Richmond

Hello my name is Melissa I am currently on disability every apartment complex that I have. Visited theirs a list a lot of places that's being built around the city of Richmond it's not affordable even the ones they claim are affordable its not. I only receive 800 a month. The majority of apartments starts at 800. It a bad neighborhood . housing is not livable

Last Name: Snare Organization: Prince William Chamber of Commerce Locality: Prince William County, Manassas & Manassas Park

On behalf of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and its 1200+ members I am writing to urge you to vote against HB1889. This legislation would make the regulations that were passed during the special session last year to help tenants remain safely housed during the COVID-19 global emergency permanent. This includes extended court filing timelines and mandatory payment plans. Industry supported these temporary provisions that were passed and if implemented on a permanent basis, however, this will have a negative impact on the operations of rental housing in Virginia and will result in significantly increased financial burden for already struggling tenants. We urge you to not support the legislation.

Last Name: Edwards Organization: Voices for Virginia's Children Locality: Henrico

Voices for Virginia's Children is supportive of HB1889. Economic trauma refers to a sustained stressful impact or emotional pain of one’s experience with lack of financial opportunities and poverty. When this trauma is layered with the trauma of the pandemic, food insecurity, housing instability, and racial and ethnic disparities it has compound and complex impacts on communities, in particular, community members that reside in rural and urban localities who may have already faced unique challenges. Housing inequities are intersectional and influence food security, employment barriers, and more. When children and families are economically secure, they are less likely to endure abuse, neglect, and poor health outcomes. Please support this bill.

Last Name: Leuschner Organization: Real Property Management Insight Locality: Blacksburg

I am speaking against approval of HB 1889. While this bill appears to be a solution to housing issues exacerbated by the current pandemic, it is actually detrimental to those providing housing to people who cannot, or choose not to, purchase a home. There is a misconception that the owners of rental properties are part of the “1%”, that they are extremely wealthy individuals making enormous profits on the backs of the working poor. In reality, the average Landlord only owns one or two properties and only sees a 3% to 5% annual profit. Many rely on these investments as a major part of their retirement plan. If a Landlord is not collecting rent on a property, they are not going to be able to maintain it in a habitable condition. The Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA) requires Landlords to provide a “fit dwelling” to Tenants and the Landlord relies on the revenue generated from rents to do this. A prudent Landlord will maintain a maintenance reserve of one to two months rent to cover unexpected expenses; an extremely prudent Landlord might have a three-month reserve. However, we are now 10 to 12 months into an eviction moratorium and those reserves have been depleted. If there is a major repair required on the property, the Landlord will not have the funds to make it. The Landlord will not be able to get a loan for the repair, because the bank will see that there is no revenue being generated. We end up in a catch-22 with the Landlord demanding rent and the Tenant demanding repairs and neither of them having the ability to help the other. Passage of this bill will also serve to put low-income families in a worsening financial situation. The past due rents are not forgiven, and they continue to accrue while the Renter remains in the property unable to pay the rent. Renter’s are accruing thousands of dollars in back rent that they will never be able to repay even when they are able to return to work. At best the Tenant is locked into a promissory note to the Landlord and at worst the Landlord will sell the debt to third party debt collectors. Renters will end up with a damaged credit history, a history of non-payment of rent, and increased difficulty in finding adequate, affordable housing in the future. There is no denying that there is a housing crisis facing the low-income individuals and the working poor, however the solutions presented in HB1889 are not the answers.

Last Name: Green Locality: Charlottesville

Dear Delegates, Thank you for your service and commitment to your communities in such times as these. I would like to recommend passing HB 1889 on behalf of the hundreds of tenants I have spoken with during this pandemic who are facing evictions and housing insecurity. I work in Charlottesville, along side a passionate group of community volunteers, we knock on doors of renters facing unlawful detainers, listen to their stories, help them understand their rights, get them the CDC moratorium or numbers to the Rent Relief program as needed, and go to court with them, observe in the court room. Time and time again, when renters get an unlawful detainer case from their landlord they move out preemptively; we visit many vacated properties. With no right to counsel, and a significant hit to their credit and public record, many families very strategically decide that fighting their landlord who has already put forth court actions, for even a few weeks they might need to make ends meet, will not be worth their energy, the missed time from work to attend court, when they know so many landlords get default judgments. Unfortunately, they often calculate right. When landlords have to provide no evidence to the court before filing eviction proceedings, we see time and time again that tenants have not been given a 14-day notice, were not alerted to the Rent Relief program, may have only been a few hundred dollars behind on rent which could be a fee or rent increase that they couldn't have budgeted for in such challenging times. There are so many obstacles for low-income Virginians to stay in stable housing. I have even spoken with two renters with active cases of Covid, still being brought to court, the exact situation we are trying to avoid in this pandemic. I believe it is your duty as Delegates to take the necessary and challenging steps to protect the most vulnerable in your communities. And extending late-rent notices from 5 to 14 days, is hardly going to effect landlord's bottom lines, but two weeks is enough time for renters to ask family for help or to wait for another pay check to come it. It is the bare minimum step to ensure a cushion of housing stability. And by delaying that initial serving on an unlawful detainer by two weeks, you will protect thousands of Virginians from self-evicting when they face court proceedings. I thank you for your service, and I ask you to pass HB 1889. Maddy Green.

Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

My name is Mariah Williams and I serve as the Director of housing policy and research at housing opportunities made equal (HOME) of Virginia and I am here to speak in support of HB1889, which would increase protections for tenants at risk of eviction throughout the Commonwealth. For over a year, we have administered Virginia’s first Eviction Diversion Program, which was established in the City of Richmond in October 2019. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our program has transitioned to both a prevention and diversion program in order to meet the needs of struggling households. In that time, we have worked with over 400 households to keep them stably housing by providing financial assistance. We’ve also had opportunity to understand that while the families we assist sometimes struggle to make ends meet, time is often a crucial factor is making sure they can remain stably housed and avoid eviction. We support extending the period to pay late rent before a court case can be filed from 5 days to 14 days because it allows the tenant additional time to receive another paycheck or access the funds through other financial networks. Additionally, this extension allows for tenants to seek assistance from housing counselors and organizations that provide eviction prevention services, something that is much easier to do when given a longer timeframe. We urge you to consider this as not only as a need during the Commonwealth’s health crisis, but one that is beneficial to tenants in the future.

Last Name: Hardney Scott Organization: NAACP Locality: Richmond

On behalf of your constituents, I strongly urge you to work with members of the Virginia House and Virginia Senate to pass legislation this session that aligns with the Virginia NAACP 2021 Legislative Priorities. I’m especially urging you to support the passing of HB 1889 , HB1900. Each of these pieces of legislation provides the necessary and much needed protection of tenant rights and prevention of illegal evictions. The passing of policy during the 2020 special session requiring landlords to give a 14 day notice in lieu of the required 5 day notification has proven to be very effective in saving homes and making landlords whole.HB1889 will make this policy permanent. HB1900 is also critical. It is time those landlords who reap the benefits from renting be held accountable when they violate the law concerning lease terminations and evictions. Throughout this pandemic we have experienced an increase in illegal evictions which included the diminishing of service, removal of meters, lockouts, harassment and extortion. We must hold those that choose to violate policy accountable. and provide a way for the renter to regain furnishing, clothing, and personal items lost due to an illegal eviction. Systemic racism has manifested as a determinant to public health through persistent racial disparities in criminal justice, housing, education, health care, employment, worker protections, climate, outdoor access, food access, and technology. The Virginia NAACP has outlined a long list of priorities that they sent to your office on January 12, 2021. You can also review them online at: https://vscnaacp.org/2021-legislative-priorities/. Your constituents are counting on you to lead on these issues that impact Black Virginians and Virginians of color. I look forward to your response and to working with you to ensure that we meet the needs of Black Virginians during this upcoming legislative session.

Last Name: Montano Organization: CASA Locality: Alexandria

Dear subcommittee members and chair, My name is Yely Montano, and I’m CASA Virginia’s Advocacy Specialist. On behalf of CASA, a community-based organization that fights for equity and justice, our 10,000 members strongly support the passing of HB 1889. With the federal evictions moratorium set to expire at the end of this month, and no evictions moratorium extended at the state level, we must do everything we can to keep our families in the Commonwealth. In a few weeks, thousands of Virginia families will be at risk of losing their homes. Our residents are in dire need of assistance as many continue to grapple with the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Many are still unemployed or underemployed. Housing has always been a basic need for individuals but now, more than ever, it's essential, especially for our working-class families who've disproportionately been impacted by the pandemic and have faced greater financial hardship. I would like to share a story from one of our members. Ms. Cerrato is an immigrant from Honduras. She has been living in the U.S. for 14 years and is a mother of three children. She works for a small cleaning company. Unfortunately, her husband fell ill with COVID-19 recently, and as a result, he lost his job. The family has fallen behind on their bills as a result of the job loss. Even though Ms. Cerrato works 10-hour workdays it is not enough. A few days ago, they received an eviction notice, informing them that if their back rent is not paid for, her family will be evicted next month. This should not be happening, and I'm sad to say the Cerrato family is just one case of many, who are at risk of losing their home soon. House bill 1889 will help in our efforts to prevent mass evictions by removing the sunset clause from the 2020 special session and permanently require landlords to give their tenants 14-day notice before they file an eviction. It also requires some landlords to offer their tenants a payment plan before they proceed with an eviction. This gives our tenants extended time to pay what they owe and provides a lifeline by offering payment plans to eligible tenants. At CASA, we believe this bill is an important step forward for Virginia in preventing homelessness and supporting our families during this difficult time. It will protect those most at risk, including our working-class families who have been at the front lines of the pandemic and kept our economy moving. They deserve our support and assistance. Thank you.

Last Name: Pedowitz Organization: Arlington Chamber of Commerce Locality: Arlington

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is opposed to HB 1889 extending indefinitely the temporary requirements, such as payment plans, that extend the eviction timeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eviction moratoria and mandated payment plans leave both housing providers and renters struggling. Without a regular stream of rental income, property owners will struggle to meet obligations including mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, utilities, and maintenance. Renters, too, will struggle to meet their payment plan obligations for back rent and their current rent. By contrast, additional funding to allow tenant and landlords to apply for relief will help tenants keep a roof over their heads and also support our housing providers in keeping rental housing available. As such, the Chamber instead encourages further exploration of what resources we can bring to support these goals, and we ask that you oppose this bill.

Last Name: Welch Organization: Brittany Commons Apartments Locality: Spotsylvania Virginia

By extending the court dates and requiring repayment plans, first of all, if they cannot afford to pay what their normal monthly charges are, how would you expect them to pay even more than that amount? Simple math. If rent is $1200. They have missed 3 months of rent. There are 3 month remaining on the current lease. You are now asking them to pay $2400.00. Totally absurd! It is unrealistic and only increases the amount of the deficit to the landlords. Just like any industry that faces loss-ie, theft in retail, etc, someone is going to have to pick up the losses. That would be in the form of increased rents in the future. Secondly, the proposal MUST include verbiage that allows landlords, without fear of penalty, to request documentation, showing that they either lost their jobs or had a reduction in hours due to COVID. There are many people that are still working and are just sitting back riding the coattails of the system. Like one told me-"-I can live for a year free (about $19000), move out, declare bankruptcy, and the other communities won't even know that I didn't pay for a year. " We all understand hard times, and we want to help those that are in need, but the ones that are abusing the system, they are making in difficult on all of us. As for extending the court filing times, when we are actually able to file, there is going to be such a backlog due to these delays that it will take months to be able to catch up. This, again, is putting the landlords in jeopardy. You have come up with so much protection for the residents, both those that cannot pay and those that will not pay, is there something that can be done to assist the landlords? Yes, RMRP is there, but, funny how it works, the only people that we have left to submit apps for are those that really are not out of work due to COVID. So therefore, those people are not going to be approved for assistance as they cannot/will not provide documentation. But yet, we, the landlords, are shorted by loss of rents. What protection can you provide to help us? A reduction in property taxes? A tax credit for lost rent? Your attention to the details of what you are trying to accomplish would be greatly appreciated. And may I add--if you keep allowing people to NOT pay their rent, especially when they are perfectly able to do so, all you are doing is chaining these people to a system where they will also be dependent on big brother rather than learning how to stand and make smart and rightful decisions.

Last Name: Vandivere Locality: Centreville

My comments support both of these bills. HB1889: This removes the sunset clause on a bill passed in the 2020 special session. The bill imposes requirements on landlords before filing an eviction lawsuit. The effect of these requirements should reduce the number of evictions that actually occur by giving tenants a chance to catch up on arears. This benefits everyone and specifically could reduce costs to the landlord, and much more serious loss to the tenant. It sounds to me like a win-win for everyone, especially in the era of a pandemic. HB1900: This bill addresses the problem of do-it-yourself evicters of tenants who are behind on rent. As I understand, this bill adds "teeth" to a 2013 bill that allowed unlawfully evicted tenants to file a claim to regain access. In 2020, clarification was added that addressed the urgency of the case. But this year, a requirement is added that allows a damages provision of $5000 to be paid by the landlord in such cases. This should deter many unlawful evictions and has largely the same benefit as HB1889 in reducing the time and money lost by both landlord and tenant. I support this for the same reason.

Last Name: Bryson Locality: Hampton

While I understand during these unprecedented times, many families are severely struggling to pay their every day bills let alone paying their monthly rent to their landlord. However, there comes a time where the line needs to be drawn. I have folks that living the the community I work for, just entered into their 10th month without any payment. They will not agree to a payment plan, they will not apply for RMRP and they will not comply with the current 14 day requirements. However, it is very clear that these folks are working. While I appreciate the law that protects them, as mentioned above, there has to be a line that has to be drawn somewhere. There needs to be some sort of additional requirement that states if they owe a certain amount or have not made any payments for a certain time frame and fail to abide by the 14 day rules, we should be able to achieve quick possession of the home. Landlords are suffering tremendously, even with programs out there, as many folks don't qualify because they cannot show proof of hardship or prove they fall under the requirements for the programs. Ultimately, the housing provider is out tens of thousands of dollars, mortgages that are still to be paid, taxes, insurance, etc. and some or even losing the ability to maintain the property as it should. Then it's possible the landlord/housing provider is deemed neglectful and can be held accountable for such neglect by the city and the state.

Last Name: Marra Organization: Virginia Poverty Law Center Locality: Richmond City

The policy changes made permanent by HB1889 (14 day pay or quit time period and mandatory payment plans for larger landlords) are important tools to help prevent needless evictions in Virginia. Extending the period to pay late rent before a court case can be filed from 5 to 14 days increases the chances that a tenant will get a paycheck or access rental assistance before the deadline. This benefits landlords and tenants, as landlords are made whole without spending time and money taking the tenant to court, while tenants stay housed without having to pay additional costs such as court fees. Some property management groups argue that extending the timeline for late payments will allow tenants to "dig themselves into deeper financial holes." This is incorrect. Tenants will not pay any more in rent, late fees (which are capped at 10% of the amount owed), or court costs for an unlawful detainer case filed on the 16th of the month than they would for a case filed on the 6th. These same property management groups object to requiring landlords with five or more units to offer payment plans to tenants who miss a month's rental payment. They claim that payment plans "contribute to the uncollectible debt incurred by the industry." This makes little, if any, sense. Payment plans must be offered (by these larger landlords) only when a tenant is already late on a rent payment. Tenants who are able to pay in full before the deadline stated in the notice presumably will do so, so only those tenants who cannot pay in full will enter payment plans. The alternative to payment plans for these tenants is to pay nothing at all, which will result in their getting sued by their landlord and incurring the additional debt of court fees (and possibly attorney's fees) that the landlord passes on to them. Often, these judgments are not collectible, and the best landlords can do with them financially is sell them to debt buying agencies for cents on the dollar. So, contrary to what these objecting property management groups say, providing tenants the opportunity to enter into payment plans is actually likely to decrease the amount of uncollectible debt held by the industry. These housing providers express concern that HB1889 requires larger landlords to offer payment plans to any tenant who falls behind on rent instead of offering them only to tenants who meet certain "eligibility criteria," such as having a strong payment history and secure employment. Sadly, we know from many places in history that "eligibility criteria" can be used by some as a pretext to disqualify people from a particular group from receiving the benefit offered. To justify the use of eligibility criteria despite the risk of someone using it as a means to discriminate against a particular group, use of the criteria should be essential to protecting the landlord's business interest. Here, it is not essential. As noted above, payment plans benefit the landlord's bottom line by providing a predictable income flow, while court cases for unpaid rent often result in uncollectible debt. Contrary to what these property management groups assert, landlords' bottom lines will not be harmed by giving tenants a chance to make payments under the plan, because as soon as one payment is missed, the landlord can issue a new pay or quit notice which will either result in full payment or the filing of a court case. HB1889 does NOT require a landlord to offer the payment plan more than once per lease.

Last Name: Hayes Organization: Lega Aid Justice Center Locality: Richmond

I am in full support of HB1889 Giving the tenant 14 days vs 5 day late notice Landlord MUST offer the tenants a payment plan on back rent before pursuing eviction. Require landlords to give 6 months or until the end of the lease to pay off the single missed payment. HB 1900 I am in full support of unlawful eviction protection for tenants Thank you Cora Hayes Landlords MUST

Last Name: Hegde Organization: Tidewater Tenants Rights Locality: Norfolk, Virginia

I am a member of Tidewater Tenants Rights, a group started in the pandemic to support the thousands in our area facing eviction during the pandemic. What we’ve seen in Virginia the past few months, despite the CDC moratorium, is a human rights and public health crisis. We have worked with families, many with young children, struggling to pay back rent due to loss of income and struggling to navigate social services at the last minute. Children and adults are facing immediate homelessness due to lack of adequate protections. Tenants deserve more. We need fair payment plans and enough time to plan ahead - so families aren’t scrambling to find adequate shelter in the winter. Housing is a human right & evicting families throughout the pandemic is a human rights crisis.

HB1971 - Virginia Fair Housing Law; reasonable accommodations, disability-related requests for parking.
Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

On behalf of HOME of Virginia, we support House Bills 2046, 1889, 1971, and 2249. We are grateful to the patrons for their continued advocacy around housing in Virginia, and particularly addressing the housing concerns and needs of marginalized communities.

Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

HB 1889 My name is Mariah Williams and I serve as the Director of housing policy and research at housing opportunities made equal (HOME) of Virginia and I am here to speak in support of HB1889, which would increase protections for tenants at risk of eviction throughout the Commonwealth. For over a year, we have administered Virginia’s first Eviction Diversion Program, which was established in the City of Richmond in October 2019. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our program has transitioned to both a prevention and diversion program in order to meet the needs of struggling households. In that time, we have worked with over 400 households to keep them stably housing by providing financial assistance. We’ve also had opportunity to understand that while the families we assist sometimes struggle to make ends meet, time is often a crucial factor is making sure they can remain stably housed and avoid eviction. We support extending the period to pay late rent before a court case can be filed from 5 days to 14 days because it allows the tenant additional time to receive another paycheck or access the funds through other financial networks. Additionally, this extension allows for tenants to seek assistance from housing counselors and organizations that provide eviction prevention services, something that is much easier to do when given a longer timeframe. We urge you to consider this as not only as a need during the Commonwealth’s health crisis, but one that is beneficial to tenants in the future. HB2046 The Commonwealth of Virginia faces a serious shortage of affordable housing options. NIMBYism among surrounding communities often serves as a barrier to the development of new affordable housing. Localities reinforce NIMBYism by blocking efforts to build affordable housing based on unfounded stereotypes about who may live there. This perpetuates long-lasting patterns of segregation and exclusion. All Virginians, no matter their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or disability, deserve access to safe and affordable housing in neighborhoods of their choice.

HB1981 - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; access to dwelling unit during certain emergencies.
No Comments Available
HB2014 - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord's acceptance of rent with reservation.
Last Name: Dunn Locality: Arlington

I live in Arlington, as well as, owning two rental units in Arlington VA and I fully support HB2014. It is unconscionable to treat tenants the way I am legally allowed to treat them. I do understand the hardship and difficulty of owning units and the risk involved, however, if I can't accept that risk and treat tenants with respect, I should get out of the landlord business. Say yes to HB2014.

Last Name: Coleman Organization: Tenants Right's Locality: Richmond City

Our voices need to be heard. We need and should have laws put in place to protect us from governed, local entities. It's our right to be heard..to be the voice to the voiceless. We're human beings who have much to say and would like to stand up and be heard. At least we'll know we have a part in any decision making that will affect us now and in the near future.

Last Name: Pannabecker Locality: Montgomery County, Blacksburg

I urge you to support and move forward for a vote: House Bill 2014 - Price - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord's acceptance of rent with reservation. HB2014 would prohibit a landlord from accepting full payment of all rent that is overdue from a tenant and receiving an order of possession pursuant to an unlawful detainer action and proceeding with eviction. Especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic, legislation such as this provides necessary protections for tenants during this time. During these uncertain times, tenants need more protections now and this is a critical bill to pass.

Last Name: Green Organization: DSA Housing Justice in Charlottesville Locality: Charlottesville

Mr. Chairman and Delegates, The team of the DSA community organizers in Charlottesville, on behalf of the hundreds of tenants we have met over the course of this pandemic, would like to endorse HB2014. We have seen so many barriers to timely relief being afforded to tenants who have lost income due to Covid by no fault of their own, and it their rights are almost always further jeopardized by landlords or management companies delaying dismissing their cases. In fact in the pandemic numerous management companies keep eviction court proceedings going here in Charlottesville even after a tenant has paid up on their rent, as a form of blackmail for them to pay rent on time each month. This is disruptive to employment and education when tenants are made to go to unnecessary court hearings, for fear of being evicted even after paying their missed rent and their credit and public record being damaged. Without right to council, low-income tenants in this position are being mistreated by our legal system, which is suppose to provide justice to all members of the Commonwealth, so on behalf of the DSA volunteers and the hundreds of tenants we speak with, I ask that you pass HB2014. Thank you.

Last Name: Trost Organization: None Locality: Chesterfield

I write in support of HB2014. While I have not personally been impacted by eviction of threats of such, I believe that individuals and families are put at greater risk of homelessness and other harmful consequences when they are not allowed the “right to redeem,” paying rent and other fees in full, more than once per 12 month period. The burdens and barriers faced by low-income people are incredibly difficult to overcome. Worse, they have been compounded by the pandemic, which has led to unemployment and income loss that have disproportionately impacted those with the least ability and resources to financial crises. By denying renters the ability to “catch up” on rent if they already had to do so within the last 12 months is unnecessarily cruel and appears to be one way that landlords, who have much greater lobbying power and ability to “write the rules,” create terms that disadvantage struggling individuals and families. Evictions are devastating for families and communities, uprooting children from schools and breaking bonds between neighbors that can help provide stability, offer support and reduce crime. We also know that people of color are more likely to be renters than homeowners, making this bill even more important for these demographic groups. For a detailed account of the tragedies associated with eviction and the intimate details of families who are living on the margins of society, I recommend Matthew Desmond’s book, Evicted. I urge support for HB2014; please provide opportunities, or at least one less obstacle, for those who are fighting to survive within a system that can be frustrating, demoralizing, destructive and designed for their failure.

Last Name: Occident Locality: Chesterfield

We absolutely need this bill. As an acquaintance recently explained to me-- We know that the compressed timeline in Virginia gives tenants little or no time to muster resources (public and private). More importantly, it gives them the right to pay and stay in their homes. In interviews with residents over the past 2 years with the RVA Eviction Lab, we find that low- and moderate-income households are already carefully balancing budgets and resources. But income instability can accelerate housing instability without laws like this. Housing instability helps no one - not the family directly impacted or the community/city/school where those individuals live, work and learn. If there is not an incentive to pay because tenets can still be evicted, and these tenets will need the money for their next apartment anyways, then we are setting everyone up for failure. Please support HB2014--the benefits to our community would be enormous.

Last Name: Washington Locality: Richmond

Hello my name is Melissa I am currently on disability every apartment complex that I have. Visited theirs a list a lot of places that's being built around the city of Richmond it's not affordable even the ones they claim are affordable its not. I only receive 800 a month. The majority of apartments starts at 800. It a bad neighborhood . housing is not livable

Last Name: Duong Locality: Loudoun

According to Eviction Lab, which is a group of researchers that specialize in studying housing and eviction, Virginia scores a pathetic 0.5 out of 5 stars on their COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard. In 2016, 5 of the top 10 cities with the highest eviction rates were in Virginia. Evictions are a modern scarlet letter that follow many renters for years after the original eviction, as many landlords keep and share eviction registries with one another. This means that those who have been evicted are shadowed by it and often denied all rental units except for those that are severely dilapidated or located in places far from work opportunities and amenities. Further research finds that this issue affects people of all colors, but it disproportionately impacts poor and working people of color. HB 2014 is a small step to remedying Virginia's unusually harsh and punitive laws against renters. It is baffling that a tenant could come up with the full payment and still be a victim of eviction and forcibly removed from their home and community. As our nation grapples with a devastating pandemic, people across the country and Virginia have come together to support one another. We've formed mutual aid networks, distributed food and clothing, donating to one another's gofundme's for rent money and medical bills. To the members of the Virginia House of Delegates, I ask that if you consider yourself a Virginian, that your actions reflect that of a person who cares about their fellow Virginians. I ask that you vote for this bill that brings us a step closer to remedying the grotesque state of tenant rights in Virginia, and that can help stabilize the housing situation for our many renters.

HB2029 - Fire training activities; definitions, prohibition on the use of certain oriented strand board.
Last Name: Little Locality: Chesterfield

Let me start by saying thank you to the committee members who supported this bill so it could be considered by all and hopefully be submitted into law. Other public comments that have been submitted reference the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As a member of the NFPA Respiratory Protection Equipment Committee, I spend a considerable amount of time on the topic of cancer prevention. I have taken on the task of conducting testing and compiling research in regard to the effectiveness of cleaning our PPE and SCBAs. Part of this research includes how specific contaminates have a major impact on our overall health and how they are contributing to the rise of cancer rates in the fire service. Recently in conjunction with International Personal Protection, Inc, we conducted live fire testing using four different fuel packages. We selected Pallets and Straw, Fiberboard, Plywood, and OSB. Each of these fuel packages were burned three times. Each fire we had two meters obtaining samples of the environment. One meter measured total hydrocarbons as hexane and the other was for PAHs. We selected the EPA’s Priority 16 as the PAHs we were looking to quantify. Plywood had highest total hydrocarbons as hexane and OSB had the highest average PAH concentration. Each PAH was examined individually and OSB was the highest in 9 out of the 16. When considering the burn times between Plywood and OSB they are neck and neck for having the highest total hydrocarbons as hexane. The fire service has a general understanding that plywood is not a recognized fuel package. Most departments recognize that plywood produces dangerous contaminates and it is not worth the risk of exposure. Do not let other public comments fool you. Training in the fire service will still continue and it will still be just as effective. VDFP did not issue a temporary policy on banning the use of OSB, it is a permanent policy that some departments in the commonwealth are refusing to follow. The idea that training aids, props, and acquired structures will be banned with this law is also false and I would refer you to VDFP for any clarification. As I have proven above there is data out there for alterative fuel packages. One of which is manufactured right here in the commonwealth. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is a division of the CDC has address exposures to carcinogens. NISOH published Intelligence Bulletin 68 on December 27, 2016 which states, “Underlying this policy is the recognition that there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen, and therefore that reduction of worker exposure to chemical carcinogens as much as possible through elimination or substitution and engineering controls is the primary way to prevent occupational cancer.” We have products that produces a significantly less concentration of PAHs than OSB. This would meet the intent of Intelligence Bulletin 68 in reducing our exposures. In closing, I would like to thank the committee again for taking up this issue and considering HB 2029. Please know that cancer is the number one killer of firefighters across the world. If it was not clear enough already, I fully support HB 2029 ask each of you to do the right thing a vote yay on this life saving bill.

Last Name: Hunter, BCO Organization: American Wood Council, Leesburg, Virginia Locality: Emmaus, Pennsylvania

The AWC develops consensus standards for wood construction that are referenced in the Virginia and National Building Codes. In the Commonwealth, the wood products industry employs over 18,000 people, with a total annual production exceeding $3.4 billion and a combined payroll of $900 million. We write today to express opposition to House Bill 2029 as written. HB 2029 unduly singles out a single product type, oriented strand board (OSB), implying that it is more dangerous than any other product that may potentially be used in fire service training exercises. This bill would leave consumers with the incorrect impression that OSB is unsafe for use in construction and have a significant impact on the supply chain and economy – including two manufacturers (Georgia Pacific and Huber Engineered Wood) in Legislative District 60. Currently, National Fire Protection Association’s standard, NFPA 1403 Live Fire Training Evolutions lists specific items that are prohibited in live fire training exercises. OSB is not included in the list of prohibited materials. Provided in Attachment A are the results of a recent vote of the Technical Committee on Fire Service Training to add OSB as a prohibited material. 2/3 of the Committee membership voted in opposition to including OSB in a technical interim amendment (TIA). The Committee vote failed on both the technical merit of listing OSB as a prohibited item and the question of whether it warrants emergency action. From a technical perspective, there is no justification for the bill. To date, there has only been one study on the toxicity of smoke, and this study did not conclusively indicate that smoke from burning OSB is appreciably more toxic than other products under fire conditions. This test was based on one type of OSB “Bravo OSB,” which unlike “Alpha OSB” is not representative of OSB typically used in residential construction and is not certified by an inspection agency for use in residential construction. Bravo OSB is a ¼” product intended for single use shipping boxes, “Alpha OSB” is representative of OSB used in residential construction, is 7/16” or greater in thickness, and is certified by an inspection agency as structural product for use in residential construction. Nor does the definition of OSB in HB 2029 align with technical guidelines and building codes. Please know that the American Wood Council considers life safety and supporting first responders its highest priority. First responders are essential to protection of lives and property. Fire fighters are often working and training in extreme conditions and consideration needs to be given to their potential exposures to hazardous material to adequately protect their health. AWC employs a former fire chief and fire marshal and retains fire safety consultants to support science-based changes that have a quantifiable reduction in risk to firefighters. Additional study of this subject may be warranted and convening stakeholders during the short legislative session may be a challenge, but until there is conclusive evidence that OSB represents an unacceptable hazard when used in live training exercises, attempts at codifying restrictions into law are premature. As written, HB 2029 inaccurately defines OSB and it is based on a study of a product that is not representative of OSB used in construction. This legislation negatively effects industry, and does not improve fire-fighter safety. We request that it not advance.

Last Name: Wieroniey Organization: American Chemistry Council Locality: Washington

ACC supports efforts to protect fire fighters from harmful combustion by-products from chemicals or the products of chemistry. Fire fighters are often working and training in extreme conditions, therefore special consideration should be given to their potential exposures to protect their health. 1. HB 2029 is duplicative of the VDFP’s regulatory action. In July 2020, VDFP updated its Live Fire Training Procedures, which state, “VDFP prohibits the use of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) manufactured with PMDI (poly-methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) during live fire training in funded schools or live fire training structures, to include flashover simulators.” HB 2029 is duplicative of VDFP’s regulatory action and therefore unnecessary. 2. The NIOSH study was designed to measure emissions from two types of OSB (“alpha” and “bravo”), simulated smoke, and pallet and straw fuel packages. The study did not investigate sources of potential emissions. We understand that a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study on fire fighter exposure to PAHs and Benzene during live training exercise serves as VDFP’s justification for banning the use of pMDI binders in OSB during live fire trainings. The study concluded that live fire training exercises may expose fire fighters and instructors to hazardous chemicals. The exposure is dependent on the duration and frequency of exposure and the type of fuel package. The study does not conclude that pMDI binders cause additional emissions of PAHs or Benzene associated with bravo OSB. 3. pMDI is not present in OSB. pMDI binders are a raw material input to the OSB manufacturing process. During OSB manufacture, pMDI binders react to form polyurethane and polyurea polymers. pMDI is not present in OSB as a discrete ingredient. OSB products contain multiple components, including binders, wax, and wood chips or strands. Generally, OSB products are over 95% wood. 4. This legislative action is new and based upon a single study on two very different OSB products VA HB 2029 is a first of its kind legislation. No other state has banned the use of OSB during live fire training exercises. We believe additional research is needed on this issue. One of the two OSB boards used in the NIOSH study – “bravo OSB” – is not representative of typical residential construction OSB. Bravo OSB is specialty OSB that is not certified by an inspection agency for use in residential construction. The other OSB board – “alpha OSB” is more representative of the OSB market. Bravo OSB is a ¼” non-structural product not intended for building and construction, while alpha OSB is 7/16” inspection agency certified structural product for use in residential wall sheathing. Alpha OSB had emissions that were very similar to the other fuel packages. The OSB industry is considering additional research and hopes this research can be used to inform the NIOSH study and the VDFP’s concern. 5. This legislative action is not inclusive It is difficult to ban all products that may exposure fire fighters to hazardous emissions. For example, there are many other products that are not on the ban list that might be equally or more hazardous to fire fighters than the products listed. It might be more productive and improve fire fighter safety if the focus is on the development of a list of suitable and safe materials for the training.

Last Name: Hunter Locality: Northumberland

This legislation would benefit from further study. I fully support efforts to reduce carcinogen exposure to fellow firefighters, but training needs must also be balanced with cancer prevention based on research. The Code of Virginia does not otherwise specify acceptable fire training fuel load packages. Currently, Department of Fire Programs policy references NFPA Standard 1403 (2018 edition) which outlines the acceptable and prohibited fuel packages and materials. The NFPA provides nationally recognized standards as evaluated by subject matter experts. NFPA relies on procedure and scientific process in the development of its standards. NFPA 1403 outlines prohibition on the use of pressure-treated wood, rubber, plastic, polyurethane foam, tar paper, upholstered furniture, carpeting, and chemically treated or pesticide treated straw or hay for live for training. The NFPA 1403 committee is currently hearing a proposed Tentative Interim Amendment related to OSB. This comment period is open until February 1, 2021. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has already issued a temporary policy related to restricting the use of this material. Advancing this legislation specific to OSB will not only NOT achieve the goal of carcinogenic exposure during training fires, but will force the use of untested fuel packages with UNKNOWN carcinogen levels into training. Scientific research by the NFPA Foundation and Underwriter Laboratories is progressing to study these fuels. Other untested fuels may contain equal or high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and may not actually reduce the carcinogenic risk to firefighters. The language as proposed in HB 2029 is broad in nature. As proposed, this language will eliminate the ability of departments to conduct live fire training within any acquired structure that contains “OSB” material. Furthermore, props such as the “doll house” fire prop will be removed from training options. In published scientific reports, ALL current fire training fuel packages have been identified to release carcinogenic causing PAHs. This legislation does not address all carcinogen producing fuels, but focuses on one chemical and material. Promoting gross decontamination and low incidence of exposure are better tools to meet the objective . This legislation hinders the fire service’s ability to address the greater risk of line of duty firefighter deaths from lack of training in first time exposure to real life, violent fire conditions vs. death from carcinogens. Firefighting is an inherently dangerous occupation, one which without proper training and training experiences, can place a new or experienced firefighter into fire conditions which will kill them. Focusing only on carcinogens concern sets the occupation in a dangerous position of not adequately training firefighters on the deadly effects of vent limited fires, flashovers, and backdrafts and may result in the tragic death of firefighters in return. The cost impact of this could be astronomical but is difficult to estimate. The cost of direct acquisition of cancer specifically obtained from training fires is not documented while a line of duty Firefighter death due to lack of live fire training is outlined in over 10 NIOSH reports. I urge legislators to allow researchers and NFPA to provide for better information to make policy before creating law and recommend the VA fire services board establish a stakeholder group to study

Last Name: Rice, Erin Organization: Virginia Professional Fire Fighters Locality: Suffolk

On behalf of the nearly 9,000 members of the Virginia Professional Fire Fighters, I respectfully ask you to support HB2029. This legislation seeks to prohibit the burning of oriented strand board (OSB) during live fire training activities. Cancer is the leading cause of death for Virginia’s fire fighters due to prolonged exposure to carcinogenic substances. The best way to protect our fire fighters from getting occupational cancer is to reduce the exposure to known carcinogens. Research indicates that exposures to carcinogens occur with the use of certain manufactured wood products, many of which are being utilized during live fire training throughout Virginia. With that in mind, this legislation would prohibit the burning of OSB manufactured with PMDI during live fire training schools or live fire training structures. Cancer among our fire fighters continues to grow, but measures like HB2029 will help to reduce that rate. The legislation enhances the health and safety of Virginia's fire and EMS providers and the VPFF asks for your support on this legislation.

HB2046 - Virginia Fair Housing Law; unlawful discriminatory housing practices.
Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

On behalf of HOME of Virginia, we support House Bills 2046, 1889, 1971, and 2249. We are grateful to the patrons for their continued advocacy around housing in Virginia, and particularly addressing the housing concerns and needs of marginalized communities.

Last Name: Clemens Locality: City of Richmond

I support HB2046 and believe it should move forward. I work in fair housing and know communities benefit from and need affordable housing. I grew up just north of Fredericksburg and attended schools with significant diversity in income, race, and family makeup. I am very thankful to have had friends from many different backgrounds and believe I am better for it. However, when I was in high school an affordable housing development next to my neighborhood was put through the ringer by people with preconceived notions of who would live there. It was wrong and discriminatory. The reality is that even now I would qualify to live in one of those affordable units next to the neighborhood I grew up in, in the community I was raised in. By limiting affordable options we discriminate against those who do not need another barrier to housing. We discriminate against individuals and families who would add value to our communities.

Last Name: Crislip Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

My name is Heather Crislip, and I have the honor of leading Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia and am a Richmond City resident. I write to you in support of Delegate Bourne’s HB2046 which would prohibit any locality, its employees, or its appointed commissioners from discriminating in the administration of land use. HOME often encounters such discrimination, often explicitly, which limits the ability of affordable housing to be developed in the locations that are important to promote success and opportunity for those who need affordable housing. We often see push-back in ways that support the systemic racism of our segregated housing patterns. Sometimes explicit and sometimes not. This measure would provide an important back-stop against these options and push-back entering into the municipalities decision-making. It would ensure that all those involved in land use decisions would need to be made aware that these factors must be excluded from the process. As simple as this measure may seem, I believe it could have a significant long-term benefit in building a commonwealth that is better racially and economically integrated and learns to live together. This is a measure to build a healthier, less divided future with greater opportunity for all. Often, NIMBY forces end up delaying, and increasing the cost of, affordable housing. The permitting process is already complicated and delays and the increase in barriers to the development of these projects makes us produce less units at a time when the need is overwhelming. This measure will help with that. I understand there may be line amendments underway, but I urge you to ensure that the bill be amended to include “source of income” as a class of people whose rights to housing would be protected from discrimination in land use development. This is important as new affordable housing is planned for to ensure that it can be built across the commonwealth where it is needed.

Last Name: Macaulay Organization: Virginia Housing Alliance Locality: Richmond

Virginia Housing Alliance, a coalition of affordable housing developers and advocates to reduce homelessness, supports this bill.

Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

My name is Mariah Williams and I serve as the Director of housing policy and research at housing opportunities made equal (HOME) of Virginia and I am here to speak in support of HB2046. NIMBYism among surrounding communities often serves as a barrier to the development of new affordable housing. Localities reinforce NIMBYism by blocking efforts to build affordable housing based on stereotypes about who may live there. This perpetuates long-lasting patterns of segregation and exclusion, especially ones that impact communities of color. All Virginians, no matter their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or disability, deserve access to safe and affordable housing in neighborhoods of their choice throughout Virginia. We urge you to pass HB2046.

Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

HB 1889 My name is Mariah Williams and I serve as the Director of housing policy and research at housing opportunities made equal (HOME) of Virginia and I am here to speak in support of HB1889, which would increase protections for tenants at risk of eviction throughout the Commonwealth. For over a year, we have administered Virginia’s first Eviction Diversion Program, which was established in the City of Richmond in October 2019. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our program has transitioned to both a prevention and diversion program in order to meet the needs of struggling households. In that time, we have worked with over 400 households to keep them stably housing by providing financial assistance. We’ve also had opportunity to understand that while the families we assist sometimes struggle to make ends meet, time is often a crucial factor is making sure they can remain stably housed and avoid eviction. We support extending the period to pay late rent before a court case can be filed from 5 days to 14 days because it allows the tenant additional time to receive another paycheck or access the funds through other financial networks. Additionally, this extension allows for tenants to seek assistance from housing counselors and organizations that provide eviction prevention services, something that is much easier to do when given a longer timeframe. We urge you to consider this as not only as a need during the Commonwealth’s health crisis, but one that is beneficial to tenants in the future. HB2046 The Commonwealth of Virginia faces a serious shortage of affordable housing options. NIMBYism among surrounding communities often serves as a barrier to the development of new affordable housing. Localities reinforce NIMBYism by blocking efforts to build affordable housing based on unfounded stereotypes about who may live there. This perpetuates long-lasting patterns of segregation and exclusion. All Virginians, no matter their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status, source of funds, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or disability, deserve access to safe and affordable housing in neighborhoods of their choice.

Last Name: Sparks Organization: H.O.M.E., and member of Advisory Council for Richmond 300 Locality: Richmond

Greetings! I am sending this statement in support of HB 2046, which would address discriminatory land use decisions carried out by local governments which impacts the type of housing that can be proposed in certain developments. Having worked on the City of Richmond's comprehensive plan for the past three years, I can attest to the limitations that current land use categorizations have on the type of housing stock that can be built in certain parts of the City. These land use restrictions stifle creative development which could address the housing storage that we are facing here in Richmond. During a time in which affordable housing is scarce and evictions are increasing, it is clear that business as usual is not sufficient in resolving this issue. Often NIMBYism is a tool used to exclude and deny all citizens accessibility to decent and sustainable housing. This bill could help to alleviate this problem. With that stated, it is my hope that you will support HB2046. Respectfully, LaToya Gray-Sparks

Last Name: Carlin Organization: Va Association of Community-Based Providers (VACBP) Locality: Virginia Beach

On behalf of the Virginia Association of Community-Based Providers (VACBP), which is the largest association of private-sector agencies providing behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment to Medicaid members among others in Virginia, I write to express strong support for HB 2046. The availability of affordable housing is critical to the patients our members serve. Even more important, however, is ensuring that discriminatory housing practices are prohibited in the Commonwealth and that there be appropriate action taken when housing discrimination is found to be happening. We applaud Del. Bourne for bringing this bill forward and we urge you to vote yes on HB 2046.

Last Name: Kaplowitz Organization: KCG Development, LLC Locality: Montgomery County, MD

My name is Stacy Kaplowitz and I am with KCG Development, LLC. I am writing in strong support of the passage of HB2046. Fair housing discrimination should not be tolerated. As a developer of affordable housing, when Virginia localities cave to the stereotypes of their NIMBY constituents, we take our investment elsewhere. Thank you for your consideration.

HB2072 - Virginia Good Neighbor Next Door program; VHDA shall report recommendations for creating Program.
No Comments Available
HB2229 - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; responsibilities of real estate brokers, etc.
No Comments Available
HB2249 - Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act; landlord charges for security deposits.
Last Name: Williams Organization: Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia Locality: Richmond

On behalf of HOME of Virginia, we support House Bills 2046, 1889, 1971, and 2249. We are grateful to the patrons for their continued advocacy around housing in Virginia, and particularly addressing the housing concerns and needs of marginalized communities.

Last Name: Grumbine Organization: Virginia Manufactured and Modular Housing Association Locality: Richmond

HB2249 Support

Last Name: Washington Locality: Richmond

Hello my name is Melissa I am currently on disability every apartment complex that I have. Visited theirs a list a lot of places that's being built around the city of Richmond it's not affordable even the ones they claim are affordable its not. I only receive 800 a month. The majority of apartments starts at 800. It a bad neighborhood . housing is not livable

End of Comments