Community Foundation Grants $25K for Rental Assistance Amid Growing Need

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties has provided $25,710 to Loudoun Cares to fund its rental assistance efforts as the need for help grows.

Since last summer, an influx of state and federal funding supported nonprofits’ COVID recovery efforts and bolstered their ability to respond to the ever-growing requests for rental assistance from Loudoun residents unable to make rent. But the state-funded rental relief program ended in May, and local nonprofits exhausted the federal grant funding in June. The lack of funding resources combined with rising inflation, increasing rent prices, and the end of Virginia’s eviction moratorium has led to a sharp increase in requests for help.

Loudoun Cares Executive Director Valerie Pisierra said from June to August, her organization saw a 170% increase in requests for rental assistance compared to the spring. She said they have received on average of around 65-75 request for help each month this summer, compared to 20-30 requests in the spring.

“Prior to May 15 we were able to refer residents to state funded programs. Now the burden falls on our local nonprofits and their supporters to help,” Pisierra said. “With evictions rising because of increased rents, more and more families are facing housing insecurity. If we don’t acknowledge this problem as a community, we are going to face even bigger issues with families becoming homeless on the street. We are so thankful for the Community Foundation for recognizing that housing should always come first.”

“Since 2020, the CERF has granted almost $350,000 for community recovery efforts, the majority dedicated to rental assistance to Loudoun residents dealing with the economic impact of the pandemic,” Community Foundation Vice President of Grants and Nonprofit Programs Nicole Acosta said. “We’ve continued supporting rental assistance through the CERF over the last two years because we know the ripple effect of the pandemic is still very much affecting working families. We’re concerned that the needs are continuing to grow, especially around rental assistance and housing.”

The funding came from the Community Foundation’s Community Emergency Relief Fund, which was established in March 2020 to collect and disburse funds to address needs related to COVID-19 and other community-wide events or disasters. An initial grant from the CERF in 2020 helped launch a COVID-19 Helpline providing financial assistance to qualified Loudoun residents and operated through a partnership between Loudoun Cares and the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.

To donate to the Community Emergency Relief Fund, go to communityfoundationlf.org/covid-19. To donate to Loudoun Cares, go to loudouncares.org.

2 thoughts on “Community Foundation Grants $25K for Rental Assistance Amid Growing Need

  • 2022-08-22 at 4:02 pm
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    Follow the (D) playbook and simply change the definition of “rent.”

    Problem solved.

  • 2022-08-22 at 5:37 pm
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    I’m glad Loudoun Cares received this funding. But it really is a drop in the bucket. After all, the average monthly rental fee for a studio apartment in Loudoun is $1,500, which doesn’t include utilities. More rental-assistance funds are desperately needed if folks are to avoid homelessness. There’s a major effort under way to clear the animal shelters in Loudoun. Let’s do the same for the homeless shelters!

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