Alexandria, Va. (ABC7) — Rent is due in a few weeks, but if you are concerned you may not be able to pay, a new budget passed by the Virginia General Assembly could provide some relief.
Friday evening, the Virginia General Assembly passed a budget declaring a moratorium on evictions in the commonwealth until December 31st.
Lawmakers also took steps to help with utility payments.
“There is a moratorium on utility disconnections right now and it will last until 60 days after the declared emergency is taken off,” said Mark Sickles, the 43rd district delegate.
He represents parts of Fairfax County.
Beginning January 2021, a rent relief program will help tenants in need.
The money used for this program will be from the commonwealth’s budget and not the federal government.
“We need to hope and pray we don’t need to extend it past December and unless we get serious about this virus in our society then we may have to go further and we will keep a finger on the pulse of what's going on in this area,” Sickles said.
Delegate Sickles said parts of Northern Virginia’s biggest industries have taken a hit which has impacted the local economy.
“I wish we could do more because it is a really hard time for people in our hospitality business which is really shut down now and there has been so many people affected by that and the travel industry because tourism is such a big part of the metropolitan Washington economy,” Sickles said.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for frontline workers and those who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
“We are doing our best to help our frontline workers there is always more that can be done and I’m talking to the governor repeatedly and luckily we are doing better than we thought and our September revenue report came in and it grew by 7% which is pretty amazing,” Sickles said.
The next budget to continue to address these issues will be released by Governor Ralph Northam in December.