RICHMOND, Va. — In late April, residents of Grace Place apartments in Richmond were told without warning that they had to vacate their apartments by the end of May. Since this notice was given, many residents have contacted the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (CVLAS) to represent them in the eviction case.
CVLAS told them that the notice they received at their door did not serve as an official eviction notice and that they did not have to leave at the end of May.
Just days ago, residents said they had received a second notice from the owners of the building saying they had to vacate the building by June 30.
“We don’t think the new advisory is any better than the old one,” CVLAS’ Marty Wegbreit said. “The old notice gave no reason for the non-renewal and termination of the leases. The new notice gives a reason for the non-renewal and termination of the leases.”
Wegbreit said the reason given by building owners for evicting tenants is not enough.
“They say they are losing money and maintaining the building is too expensive. We don’t think that’s legally enough reason to evict people and close the building,” Wegbreit said.
He said that because the building received tax credits for providing low-income housing, they must provide sufficient reason to evict tenants.
“They can’t use business and financial reasons. Because there’s no legal authority that says a tax credit property can break their agreements with the government just for financial or business reasons,” Wegbreit said.
Wegbreit that the notice is the first step in a five-step process.
“I have informed residents and met with 20 households that they do not have to leave until June 30. And if they are still there on July 1, of course Grace Place has the legal authority to file an eviction lawsuit, and I am committed to defending every eviction lawsuit,” he explained.
Wegbreit encouraged any resident who still needed help to contact his office at (804) 200-6045.
“If the choice is between investors who may be losing money and low-income people who are losing their homes, I’m going to choose investors who may be losing money every day of the week,” did he declare.
CBS6 has contacted the owners of the building and is still awaiting a response.