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Albemarle County residents could qualify for COVID relief

Albemarle County residents feeling the harsh economic impacts of the pandemic could find assistance through an emergency program funded by the county and administered by the United Way of Greater Charlottesville.

The funds are from federal CARES Act money for coronavirus relief allocated to the county by the state. The program is designed to help families offset lost wages or earning ability due to reduced work hours or job loss.

The funds may be used for rent or mortgage, utility payments, groceries, prescriptions, and childcare.

“Feeling financially secure and stable is paramount to personal and familial health,” Ravi Respeto, president and CEO of the United Way, said in a prepared statement. “Many people are unable to meet their financial obligations through no fault of their own and are being threatened with eviction and are unable to purchase groceries or pay for utilities. By disbursing these funds, we are hoping to allow people to stay in their homes, meet their immediate financial needs and not incur more serious, longer term, financial hardships.”

The county has earmarked more than $1 million to support the program.

“Albemarle County understood early in the pandemic that COVID-19 would create not just a public health crisis, but a financial hardship to so many households that rely on each paycheck to meet their living expenses,” Siri Russell, Albemarle County Director of Equity and Inclusion said in a prepared statement.

Applicants must have a valid Albemarle County address. Each household is eligible for a one-time payment of up to $1,000.

Funds that will help offset rent or mortgages payments will be made directly to landlords or mortgage companies and will be allocated based on the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development guidelines.

Payment for rent or mortgage assistance will be dispersed directly to landlords or mortgage companies.

For more information or to request assistance, residents should call the fund’s hotlines. For English, call (434) 326-0950 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; for Spanish call (434) 373-0930 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Other languages are available upon request, officials said.


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