City of Alexandria Launches Task Force to Prevent Evictions

Task force asking for input and assistance from the community

The City of Alexandria has formed a task force to help renters, assist property owners, and prevent evictions. (Zebra file photo)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The City of Alexandria has formed the Eviction Prevention Task Force (EPTF) to address the local effects of a national eviction crisis.

This multi-agency partnership is comprised of representatives from the Department of Community & Human Services; the Office of Housing; the office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney; the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office; Legal Services of Northern Virginia; Christ Church; and emergency financial providers.

According to the Aspen Institute, the housing crisis – amplified by the pandemic – has sharply increased the risk of long-term harm to families and individuals who rent, caused disruptions of the affordable housing market; and increased the risk of foreclosure and bankruptcy, specifically for small property owners.

In addition, the Institute reports that eviction increases the likelihood that people will experience homelessness. It diminishes mental and physical health and reduces the probability of finding and keeping a job. The prospect of eviction is traumatic, particularly for children.

At the top of the list of immediate goals for the EPTF is to conduct a public outreach effort to increase awareness of financial assistance and other resources that can provide relief for renters, More long-term goals include reducing the number of evictions in Alexandria, diminishing the impact of eviction on residents, and the development and implementation of a strategy to prevent eviction that addresses the needs of residents and property owners.

The task force is collecting and sharing data while working to assess eviction concerns locally. The group is also identifying and resolving gaps in eviction prevention services. They are currently consulting with stakeholders to address this crisis as well.

The EPTF welcomes community input, cooperation, and participation in ongoing projects, They are asking for help with reaching out to at-risk households and identifying renters who need assistance. The group is also seeking input from and collaboration with rental property owners.

To submit input or inquire about opportunities to collaborate, email evictionprevention@alexandriava.gov.

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