RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly $3 million in state funds is going towards seven projects that aim to reduce evictions in Virginia, including one in Richmond.

The Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot — implemented under then-Gov. Ralph Northam — has provided funding to nonprofits to help address the soaring rates of evictions throughout the Commonwealth.

On Friday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration announced a total of $2.9 million in grants for seven eviction reduction programs that will cover 48 localities in Virginia.

“All Virginians have a right to stable and affordable housing,” Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said in a statement. “This funding, in tandem with the Governor’s ‘Make Virginia Home’ plan, will help align our vision for a more prosperous future for Virginia.”

A Richmond nonprofit, Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), is getting $465,000 in funding from the pilot program.

HOME focuses on fair housing enforcement, counseling, education, research and policy in a city with the highest rate of evictions in Virginia — and one of the country’s highest.

The organization will build upon its eviction diversion program by increasing outreach to high-need communities, providing rental assistance and expanding its legal court navigation program and case management.

The funding will allow the nonprofit to bring in another eviction diversion counselor and an intake staff member to help clients with the intake process, counseling and rental options.

The state pilot program initially provided funding to four organizations that used the state money to help Virginians pay for car repairs, utility and medical bills.

According to the RVA Eviction Lab, the program helped 1,353 households between June 2021 and June 2022. The RVA Eviction Lab also found that Zip codes where the program was active saw “significantly lower” eviction filings and judgments between 2019 and 2021.

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