RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — This year, Virginia is sending nearly $3 million to seven projects that aim to reduce evictions in the state. This includes one program in Richmond, which is the city with the highest rates of eviction in Virginia and some of the highest rates in the country.

The Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot program was implemented under then-Governor Ralph Northam in 2020 and gives money to nonprofits to help address eviction rates throughout the commonwealth. The purpose of this pilot program is to create local and regional approaches to prevent evictions, as well as create safety nets within communities to help all people find stable housing.

On Friday, Jan. 13, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a total of $2.9 million in grants for seven eviction reduction programs that will cover 48 localities in Virginia in 2023.

One of those programs is a Richmond nonprofit organization called Housing Opportunities Made Equal, or “HOME” for short. HOME will get $465,000 from the program, the third largest amount for the seven approved 2023 projects.

The money will allow the nonprofit to increase outreach to high-need communities, provide rental assistance and expand its legal court navigation program and case management. This includes bringing in another eviction diversion counselor and an intake staff member to help clients with the intake process and rental options.

According to research from VCU’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, Richmond has an eviction rate of 11%, particularly in the city’s east and south side neighborhoods. Richmond has the second highest eviction rate in the country and the highest in Virginia, also according to VCU.

The largest program Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot is funding in 2023 is the The United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, which will provide eviction prevention services and a court navigator program to the Virginia Peninsula, specifically targeting Hampton and Newport News. Both cities are marked as priority areas with high rates of eviction. The Peninsula Eviction Reduction Pilot will receive $850,143 this year.

For information about all the 2023 Eviction Reduction funded programs, visit the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development online.