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County News

Posted on: February 26, 2021

Chesterfield To Administer Rent and Utility Relief Program

Community Enhancement

Feb. 26, 2021

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — On Wednesday, the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors approved a request by the Department of Community Enhancement to appropriate more than $10 million of federal Coronavirus Relief funds to two local nonprofits, Area Congregations Together in Service, or ACTS, and Homeward.  

ACTS received $10 million to administer the Chesterfield Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance program, or CERA. Homeward received $450,000 to meet the increased need for homeless relief and prevention services due to the pandemic. 

Chesterfield County joins Fairfax County as one of only two localities in the state who elected to directly administer its allocation of federal funding.  

“Chesterfield knows it is important to invest in programs such as emergency rental assistance during this period of uncertainty due to COVID-19,” said Dan Cohen, Community Enhancement director. “It’s critical we get these funds out the door and into the community as soon as possible.” 

The county is no stranger to partnering with ACTS on these types of initiatives. Last July, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors approved the allocation of $50,000 to ACTS for area residents seeking rent and mortgage assistance because of the ongoing economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

William Poarch, CEO of ACTS, stated, “Our previous partnership with Chesterfield County in the fall distributing CARES Act funds meant that ACTS had trained staff and systems in place to quickly begin administering funds to Chesterfield residents.”

Applying to CERA

Chesterfield residents can apply to the CERA program two ways:

  • Complete the online application at 
  • Call ACTS at 804-644-2401, press No. 2 and leave a message.
    1. Spanish-speaking residents will need to press No. 5.
    2. All calls will be returned in the order they were received.

Chesterfield landlords may apply to the CERA program on behalf of their tenants by visiting

CERA Program Details:

The CERA program is available to help renters who experienced an economic hardship due to COVID-19 meet up to 15 months of past and future rent and utility obligations starting as far back as April 1, 2020. 

CERA program funds are only available to renters and can be used for the following:

  • Rent and rental arrears
  • Utilities and home energy costs and arrears
  • Other housing expenses resulting from the pandemic

For more information on eligibility, priority households and what documents are needed to apply, visit the ACTS Chesterfield CERA webpage

For more information on homeless prevention services, call Homeward at 804-343-2045 or email If you are currently experiencing homelessness, please call the Homeless Crisis Line at 804-972-0813.

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