Should coastal residents who stay put in face of flooding get tax breaks to fortify their property? Ballot question sparks debate

BY: - November 2, 2018

An environmental group in coastal Virginia is urging voters to oppose a constitutional amendment intended to offer tax relief to property owners facing recurring flooding, prompting a debate that echoes larger concerns about how states and localities should respond to sea-level rise. On ballots statewide Tuesday, the measure would give local governments the authority to […]

After years of racking up violations, state shuts down Richmond assisted living facility

BY: - October 26, 2018

The Department of Social Services has started relocating residents of Jones & Jones Assisted Living in Richmond after shutting down one of the facility’s two buildings, NBC12 reports. Jones & Jones has been open for decades and racked up hundreds of violations from DSS, but has remained opened, even after the owner had her license […]

‘Ice water on the bonfire:’ Delegate bucks convention on economic development deal

BY: - October 22, 2018

Public officials in Virginia love jobs announcements. The governor trumpets at least a handful every month and elected officials all the way down the food chain, regardless of party, tend to get in on the action, offering laudatory quotes and posing for pictures at ceremonial groundbreakings. So eyebrows collectively shot skyward when Del. Lee Carter, […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia’s unemployment rate hits lowest level in 11 years

BY: - October 19, 2018

Virginia’s unemployment rate fell for the third month in a row, hitting the lowest number since 2007, Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration announced. “The September 2018 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Virginia was down 0.7 percentage point from a year ago and is the lowest rate since the June 2007 rate of 2.9 percent,” Northam’s office […]

Virginia Mercury

NYT: Northern Virginia seen as increasingly likely contender for Amazon HQ2

BY: - October 18, 2018

The New York Times put the spotlight Thursday on Northern Virginia’s Crystal City as the most likely contender for Amazon’s much sought-after second headquarters, a project that promises 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment. Beyond releasing a list of 20 finalists, Amazon has remained steadfastly silent on its plans, saying it will announce its […]

State courts tweak eviction notices to get ‘eviction’ in the title

BY: - October 17, 2018

A panel that oversees administration of the state’s district courts approved a change Tuesday they hope will make it a little move obvious to Virginia tenants getting sued for eviction that, well, they’re getting sued for eviction. Until now, the notices used by the courts and posted on tenants’ doors haven’t actually include the word […]


What refugees and immigrants can bring to our communities

BY: - October 16, 2018

When my wife and I started attending Tabernacle Baptist Church in Richmond, we were impressed by the diverse congregation. Nearly a third of our members are refugees. I become friends with a Burmese refugee named Biak Tling, an experienced carpenter in his home country whose first job in Richmond was in a commercial kitchen. We were […]

VCU Professor Kathryn Howell, who co-founded the RVA Eviction Lab, presented research on the link between evictions and instability in public schools in Richmond during a recent meeting of the statewide Campaign to Reduce Evictions.

Among fixes to reduce evictions: more pro-bono lawyers, plain-English legal forms and poverty simulation for judges

BY: - October 5, 2018

When it comes to doing something about the highest-in-the-nation eviction rates in Virginia’s cities, advocates say there’s no silver bullet. Instead, they’re pursuing dozens of possible policy fixes. Some would require legislative action and possibly state funding, such as a proposed eviction diversion program. Others would not. Among them is a proposal for district court […]

Most teens who age out of foster care have trouble getting a driver’s license and it affects everything they do

BY: - October 3, 2018

When Allison Gilbreath held a work group in 2016 on youth aging out of foster care without a driver’s license, every single person — all young adults who had turned 18 while still in the foster care system — showed up 30 or 45 minutes late because they were relying on someone else for a […]

Despite deaths, dozens of violations and revoked licenses, Richmond assisted-living facility remains open

BY: - October 1, 2018

It’s been more than 20 years since Michel Burke-Barnes and Margaret Burke last saw their brother. But in that time, they thought and prayed about him a lot. They wondered: Was he okay? Was somebody taking care of him? They knew he was living at Jones & Jones Assisted Living in Richmond, but little else. […]

Race, not poverty, seen as common link in Virginia’s high eviction rates

BY: - September 28, 2018

Hopewell and Bristol are at opposite ends of the state, but in the context of the eviction crisis, you wouldn’t necessarily expect them to be so far apart: they both face high poverty rates and have large populations of renters who bear similar housing costs. The outcomes for those renters, however, are dramatically different. According […]