Dec. 14, 2021
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — In collaboration with a local nonprofit, Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS), Chesterfield County has distributed most of the $18.8 million in federal aid designated for its Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance Program.
To date, Chesterfield has provided an average of $5,210 in rent payments and $695.12 in utility payments to 2,201 households (1,376 of which have children under age 18) and 575 landlords.
The program has served a total of 5,423 people, including 2,787 minors and 181 seniors.
ACTS is now temporarily closing its online portal to new applicants until the county receives additional funding from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The nonprofit cannot accept additional requests for assistance at this time because submitted applications already exceed available resources.
ACTS will continue to distribute the program’s remaining funds until all are expended, with priority given to Chesterfield households earning 50 percent or less than area median income, those where one or more individual has been unemployed for a 90-day period preceding the date of application, those with children under the age of 18 and those with seniors age 65 and older.
To limit the number of evictions, all available funds will be used to pay rental arrears and present-month rent. Utility bills no longer will be paid.
Chesterfield has asked for $10 million in additional support from the Treasury Department, which intends to collect and reallocate any unspent money from the first two rounds of emergency rental assistance by the end of January.
Should the county receive another significant influx of federal funding, ACTS may reopen the application portal in February.
When the Treasury Department began providing emergency rental assistance to states last year, to mitigate the impact of pandemic-related job losses and prevent evictions, its regulations permitted jurisdictions with populations greater than 200,000 to apply for such funding directly.
Chesterfield was one of two Virginia localities, along with Fairfax County, that launched its own locally administered rent relief initiative.
Chesterfield contracted with ACTS to manage the program, process applications and efficiently deliver aid to qualified households.
Because Chesterfield obtained funding directly from the Treasury Department, county residents are not eligible to participate in the Virginia Rent Relief Program (RRP), a rental assistance program currently operated by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
To learn about benefit programs and other services available through the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services, visit https://www.chesterfield.gov/569/Social-Services, email the department, or call 748-1100.
To screen for eligibility or apply for benefit programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Child Care, visit Virginia CommonHelp or call 1-855-635-4370.