Richmond, Virginia has the second-highest eviction rate in the United States, at 11.44%. Due to a legacy of redlining and other discriminatory housing practices, eviction in Richmond disproportionately impacts people and neighborhoods of color. This crisis has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Richmond experiencing a 50% increase in homelessness since the beginning of 2020. Eviction has downstream impacts; families experiencing eviction often cannot find affordable housing (landlords are reluctant to rent to those who have been evicted from other homes), individuals have a harder time finding and keeping employment when they don’t have a permanent residence, and children experiencing eviction often struggle to keep up in school. For those in need of housing assistance, the justice gap continues to grow.
The Eviction Diversion Program (EDP) seeks to address this crisis. Officially launched in October 2019, EDP operates as a partnership among GRBF, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia (HOME), and the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (CVLAS). EDP prevents eviction by connecting volunteer conciliators to eligible unlawful detainer cases filed in the Richmond General District Court. Our volunteers serve as Third Party Neutrals by facilitating payment plans that help keep people in their homes and allowing landlords to get their back rent paid. Additionally, EDP connects tenants to financial assistance and financial literacy education, helping them avoid unlawful detainer judgments and to stay afloat in the future. Win-Win.
Over 700 evictions diverted in the last fiscal year (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021)
From the Volunteers
The Eviction Diversion Program is financially assisted by a generous grant from the Virginia Law Foundation. The Virginia Law Foundation promotes through philanthropy the rule of law, access to Justice, and law-related education.
GRBF does not provide services for individuals, but these resources can help.