Eviction Diversion Program
After research conducted by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, the City of Richmond was noted to have the second-highest eviction rate of any city in the country. To address a critical piece of this Eviction Crisis in Richmond, in partnership with the City of Richmond, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), and the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (CVLAS), GRBF launched a pro bono program for volunteers to serve as Third Party Neutrals in eligible unlawful detainer (eviction) cases filed in the City of Richmond General District Court. Volunteers facilitate a payment plan for eligible tenants and willing landlords to keep people in their homes, to connect tenants to financial assistance and financial literacy education, as well as to avoid an Unlawful Detainer judgment. Landlords get back rent paid, tenants stay in their residences, and learn how to stay afloat in the future. Win-Win. Since October 1, 2019, GRBF staff and volunteers have assisted hundreds of tenants in the halls of the General District Court, secured over 100 payment plans, and worked with HOME to keep even more in their homes. Stay tuned for more updates!
COVID-19 Updates to EDP Volunteer Process: In recognition of the need to stay safe during the pandemic and court modifications, EDP has shifted to remote services for tenants and landlords. For the foreseeable future, EDP volunteers and staff will not be intersecting with parties at court. Instead, we will contact parties to negotiate a payment plan remotely. We have created a signup in JusticeServer® for all those attorneys and paralegals interested in helping. Thanks to the generosity of Hunton Andrews Kurth, we will utilize a new software system WORK™ to track cases and tenant progress with HOME. A webinar training will be coming soon, stay tuned!
To find out more about the NEED for this service in the City of Richmond and this first of its kind (in Virginia) EDP program, please watch this short pilot video.
To find out more about this program, the why and how to volunteer, please contact Hannah Brechlin at firstname.lastname@example.org OR at (804) 780-2600 ext. 7 for training materials, videos, and forms.
Thanks for your interest in helping our community!
CARES Act and Other Legislation and Executive Orders Affecting Evictions:
EDP and the Eviction Crisis in the News:
RVA Eviction Lab Data Update – June 26, 2020
A Place to Call Your Own – Richmond Magazine
Fighting Eviction – Style Weekly