First Arlington’s “Housing Matters Forum” Focuses on Evictions

On March 20, the Housing Bureau in Arlington County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Housing Division of the Department of Community Planning and Housing Development (CPHD) launched the first of a series of community meetings designed to provide opportunities for both tenants and landlords to share information and discuss housing issues.

This first meeting focused on evictions and discussion included a new report on Evictions and Prevention in Arlington showing that while the eviction rate in Arlington at 0.86% is low, that still means 535 households face eviction each year (that’s almost 1.5 per day). Most evictions are due to high rent burdens: 18% of Arlington renters pay over 50% of their income on rent.

An update on State initiatives reported that the Eviction Work Group had recommended six legislative changes strengthening tenant interests on appeal bonds, detainer filings leases, writs of possession rights of redemption and a diversion pilot program. To date, all but two have passed and have been signed by the governor.

Image courtesy of the March 2019 “Preventing Evictions in Arlington” report from the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.

Image courtesy of the March 2019 “Preventing Evictions in Arlington” report from the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.

The evictions report and the Housing Matters presentations are available to the public.

The next meeting of the Forum will be June 19.

Report by Dave Leibson, AHS Board President.