COVID-19 Resources and Updates

As a region and a nation, we are all striving to understand the short and long-term impact the COVID-19 outbreak will have on ourselves, our families, and our communities. This page is a resource for organizations and individuals seeking up-to-date information on the impact of federal response packages on the affordable housing sector, the state eviction moratorium, rent/mortgage and utilities relief, homeless services, relief for non-profit developers and human service organizations, and proposed budget changes in Northern Virginia jurisdictions.

New updates are highlighted in yellow.

Landing Pages for COVID-19 Resources & Updates


Federal Response Packages

The House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act on May 15, 2020. The bill includes almost $200 billion in additional funding for housing and homelessness programs. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) published a detailed analysis of the housing and homelessness-related provisions of the bill. The Republican-led Senate is not expected to consider the bill. 

NLIHC published a detailed analysis of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Nixon Peabody also issued a summary of housing-related provisions of the CARES Act.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s COVID-19 Resources page includes a policy section detailing the effects of federal aid on individuals, businesses, and state governments.

The National Association of Realtors outlined the impact of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on employers and employees. This page includes summaries of the expanded family medical leave, paid sick leave, and unemployment policies outlined in the bill, and describes provisions related to health insurance and refundable tax credits.

View our timeline of when federal aid programs and funding streams are set to expire below. (Hover over any point on the timeline for details about the program/funding source set to expire on that date.)

 

 


Eviction Moratorium

LEGAL RESOURCES 

ARLINGTON COUNTY

  • Arlington County and City of Falls Church General District Court suspended all civil hearings (except protective orders) through June 11, 2020.
  • Additional information on tenant rights in Arlington County during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

  • The General District Court for the City of Alexandria suspended operations through June 12, 2020.
  • The City created a matrix of housing relief programs at the federal, state, and local level that is available in both English and Spanish. 

FAIRFAX COUNTY

  • The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office will not participate in new or pending eviction proceedings through June 7, 2020.

LOUDOUN COUNTY

  • The Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and General District Court reopened on a limited basis on Monday, May 18. View updates on the operating status of the Loudoun General District Court, along with other government buildings in Loudoun County, here.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

  • View updates on the operating status of the Prince William County General District Court here

REGIONAL ACTION

The Mayors and Chairs of the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria and Fairfax sent a letter to Gov. Northam requesting the suspension of previously filed eviction actions and a prohibition on new filings through the end of the emergency period; direction to multifamily property owners and mortgage lenders to waive late fees and other penalties on late payments; statewide expansion of an eviction diversion pilot program that currently covers only Richmond, Hampton, Danville, and Petersburg; and reduced restrictions for human service programs.

STATE ACTION

After extending its declaration of judicial emergency through June 7, 2020, the Supreme Court of Virginia amended this declaration to allow courts to hear non-essential, non-emergency proceedings beginning May 18. Courts must comply with guidance for transitioning from emergency to routine operations, and conducting hearings by telephone or video conference is strongly encouraged when possible.

The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is offering up to three months of forbearance to landlords who can demonstrate COVID-19-related financial hardship (defined as a drop of at least 15% in rental income), the three month period can begin as early as May 2020 or as late as August 2020. Borrowers in forbearance must allow tenants to defer rental payments for up to three months and repay the past due amount over 12 equal monthly installments. 

FEDERAL ACTION

Homeowners: At the national-level, the CARES Act instituted a 60-day foreclosure moratorium for homeowners with federally-backed mortgages, including mortgages backed by HUD, USDA, FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. This moratorium took effect on March 18, 2020. Borrowers with federally-backed mortgages who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic may also request a forbearance of up to 180 days, which may be extended for an additional 180 days. 

Renters: Multifamily property owners with federally-backed mortgages, including mortgages backed by HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, may request a forbearance of 30 days, which may be extended for an additional 60 days. Borrowers cannot evict tenants or charge late fees while under forbearance. Landlords with loans backed by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act cannot evict tenants for nonpayment or charge late fees for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020. 


Rent/Mortgage and Utilities Relief

Download the chart to active the application links.

PRIVATE RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

STATEWIDE ACTION

  • Stay Home Virginia is a website with information to help Virginians navigate housing programs, services, and resources. 
  • The State Corporation Commission has suspended disconnections of electricity, gas, water and sewer utility services through June 14, 2020. 

Food Assistance

ARLINGTON COUNTY

  • Arlington Public Schools (APS) is providing free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students every weekday from 11 am – 1 pm. View a list of pick-up locations here. APS has also compiled a list of food assistance resources, which is available in five different languages. 
  • Residents can learn about the county’s other food assistance programs and apply for SNAP online.

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

  • The City has created a map of food distribution events and resources by neighborhood.
  • On Tuesday, May 12, the City Council considered proposed plans for use of federal CARES Act funding, including plans for food security.
  • Hunger Free Alexandria has a list of emergency food access points available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Amharic. 
  • Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is providing free breakfasts and lunches to students Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 am – 12 pm. A list of pick-up locations is available here.
  • A list of grocery stores with dedicated shopping hours for older adults and individuals with underlying conditions who are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19 infection is available on the “physical distancing” section of the City’s COVID-19 landing page.
  • Residents can learn about the city’s other food assistance programs and apply for SNAP online.

FAIRFAX COUNTY

  • Residents can access a searchable map of all food assistance sites in the county, including Fairfax County Public Schools, community meal distribution sites, and food pantries here
  • Residents can learn more about the county’s food assistance programs and apply for SNAP online.

LOUDOUN COUNTY

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

  • Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is offering grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for students every weekday from 9 – 11 am. A list of locations is available in eight languages here
  • Residents can learn more about the county’s food assistance programs and apply for SNAP online through the Department of Social Services.

STATEWIDE ACTION

  • On May 22, Gov. Northam announced that Virginia received approval to join a pilot program enabling SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online and have them delivered. The program is set to begin May 29. 
  • Virginia was recently added to the list of U.S. states eligible for the Pandemic Electronic Balance Transfer (P-EBT) program created in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. Parents of children who receive free or reduced-price lunches at school will automatically be enrolled to receive a food card with $370 per child. This amount is intended to cover the cost of meals missed due to school closures from mid-March through the end of the year. The benefit will be provided to all families whose children receive free or reduced-priced lunch regardless of whether families regularly receive SNAP benefits. 

Digital Access

Like food and shelter, internet access has become a basic need that too many low-income households go without. In addition to accessing information about COVID-19, including how to prevent the spread of the virus and common symptoms, households need internet access to obtain telehealth services, learn about emergency assistance programs in their area, and so children can participate in online learning while schools are closed. Below is a list of resources to help low-income households obtain and maintain internet access during this crisis.

  • The Comcast Internet Essentials program provides affordable internet access, a low-cost computer, and computer literacy training to qualifying low-income households. During the pandemic, eligible new customers will receive the Internet Essentials program free for 60 days. 
  • The Verizon Lifeline Discount program offers discounted internet service to qualifying low-income households. Verizon waived all billing charges for existing customers of this program for 60 days beginning March 22, 2020. As of April 3, new customers who qualify for the Lifeline Discount program can receive $20 off any Fios mix-and-match home internet plan, along with other benefits. You can learn more about the discount for new customers here

Homeless Services

ARLINGTON COUNTY

  • All emergency shelters remain open. Additional sanitation protocols, health screenings, and staff trainings are being implemented.

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

  • Access information on the City’s homeless shelters and services for individuals experiencing homeless here.

FAIRFAX COUNTY

  • The County’s emergency shelters remain open during the epidemic. The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness is working to implement CDC best practices in all emergency shelters, and to ensure access to COVID-19 testing and treatment for individuals experiencing homelessness. 

LOUDOUN COUNTY

  • Access information on the City’s homeless shelters and services for individuals experiencing homeless here.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

  • The Prince William Board of County Supervisors has appropriated $324,534 from state and federal grants and $300,000 from Affordable Housing Proffer Funds for housing the homeless during the COVID-19 crisis. The Department of Social Services will use $189,000 of the funding to provide non-congregate shelter in motels for individuals experiencing homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19, been exposed to COVID-19, are over age 65 or have an underlying health condition that places them at increased risk. Learn more here.
  • A list of additional resources for individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.

Relief for Non-profit Developers & Human Service Organizations

ARLINGTON COUNTY

  • Arlington County created the Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program, which will provide up to $10,000 in grant funding to businesses and non-profits with fewer than 50 employees that can demonstrate a revenue loss of 35% or more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding may be used for payroll and other expenses directly related to the impact of COVID-19. The application period for this grant opportunity has closed. All applicants will be notified of their application status in mid-June. 

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

  • On Tuesday, May 12, the City Council considered proposed plans for use of federal CARES Act funding, including plans for small business grants.
  • The City’s Office of Housing Landlord Tenant Division staff is available to assist property owners and residents in developing and implementing payment plans to avoid defaults and evictions. The Mayor and City staff also welcome feedback from business and commercial property owners about how the City can best support them during this crisis.

FAIRFAX COUNTY

  • On May 15, the Board of Supervisors established a $5 million fund to support non-profit organizations, whose primary work supports social safety net services to vulnerable populations within Fairfax County. The grant application process began May 15 and will conclude at 2 p.m. on May 22. The program will be funded using federal CARES Act funds.
  • The Board of Supervisors voted on May 12 to create a new $25 million grant program to assist small businesses and non-profits affected by COVID-19. The program will be funded using federal CARES Act funds. The application process is expected to begin in early June.
  • Information for all businesses affected by the crisis is available online. Specialized questions should be directed to the Department of Economic Initiatives.

LOUDOUN COUNTY

  • The County’s COVID-19 Impact Fund program, which will provide funding for eligible nonprofit organizations to address the needs of low- to moderate-income households related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Loudoun County Economic Development provides support and education to businesses affected by the crisis. Staff are actively reaching out to businesses, and are available to receive suggestions and requests, and address concerns.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

  • Prince William County Department of Economic Development is offering business support services, including free one-on-one consultations, via phone and email. Additional resources are available via the Department website.

Philanthropic Funds

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund provides grants to non-profit organizations and programs that serve Northern Virginia communities that are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arlington Community Foundation Prompt Response Fund provides funding to non-profit organizations that offer front line support to individuals affected by the crisis, including organizations that help with food and health care access, and organizations supporting workers who are laid off or furloughed as a result of the crisis.

ACT for Alexandria: ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund provides funding to non-profit organizations delivering critical programs and services to Alexandria residents. The City of Alexandria approved a matching grant of $100,000 for this fund on March 14, 2020.


Proposed Budgetary Changes for Fiscal Year 2021

Note: The information below is subject to frequent change due to the evolving nature of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak

ARLINGTON COUNTY

  • The County Manager presented a revised fiscal year 2021 budget proposal to the County Board on April 6. The revised budget proposal is outlined in a 17-page memo. Changes to affordable housing and social safety net funding are outlined on page 9 of the memo. The County Board voted to adopt the revised fiscal year 2021 budget on April 30.

CITY OF ALEXANDRIA

  • The City Manager announced his revisions to the proposed fiscal year 2021 budget on April 7. The Council voted to adopt the revised fiscal year 2021 budget on Wednesday, April 29.

FAIRFAX COUNTY

LOUDOUN COUNTY

  • The Board of Supervisors approved the fiscal year 2021 budget on April 7. The Board also approved an appropriations resolution to reserve $100 million in fiscal year 2021 general fund expenditures to guard against a potential revenue shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional information on the fiscal year 2021 budget and the appropriations resolution can be found here.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

  • The Board voted to adopt an amended fiscal year 2021 budget on Tuesday, April 28.  The revised budget will maintain the fiscal year 2020 real estate tax rate, and reduce spending by $40.6 million, including $22.7 million that would have been added to school division revenue. The Board is expected to revisit the fiscal year 2021 budget every quarter to make adjustments based on the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

STATE BUDGET UPDATE

  • On April 22, the Virginia General Assembly voted on amendments to the enrolled budgets (H.B.29 and H.B.30) that Gov. Northam proposed in light of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Northam’s proposed amendments included a number of changes to H.B.30 that will unallot funding for the state’s Housing Trust Fund, permanent supportive housing, eviction defense/diversion and affordable housing pilot programs, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. A complete list of the Governor’s proposed amendments is available via the Commonwealth Institute. The General Assembly will reconvene for a special summer session to adjust the state budget again based on a revised economic forecast. 

Coronavirus Research and Data

  • The Virginia Department of Health is reporting daily on the number of cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities at the locality level; and the number of cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities by demographics at the district level.

Managing Stress

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking breaks from exposure to the news, taking deep breaths or meditating, trying to eat healthy, getting adequate sleep, making time for activities you enjoy, and connecting with others to share your feelings.