Chesterfield sets aside more than $10 million to help renters

Chesterfield County

(Getty)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield County is setting aside more than $10 million of federal coronavirus relief funding for two local nonprofits to help residents make their rent and utility payments.

According to a release, this request was made by the Department of Community Enhancement and approved Wednesday by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors.

Officials said that Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS) received $10 million to administer the Chesterfield Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance program (CERA), and Homeward received $450,000 to meet the increased need for homeless relief and prevention services due to the pandemic.

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

According to a release, Chesterfield County has now joined Fairfax County as one of only two localities in the state of Virginia that elected to administer its allocation of federal funding directly.

County officials said they have previously partnered with ACTS on similar initiatives, such as the approved allocation in July 2020 of $50,000 by the Board of Supervisors to ACTS for area residents seeking rent and mortgage assistance because of the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” ACTS CEO William Poarch said.

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.

Chesterfield residents can apply to the CERA program by completing an online application or calling 804-644-2401 — press No. 2 and leave a message. Although funds are only available to renters, according to a release, landlords in the County may apply to the program on behalf of their tenants by clicking here.

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