Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Northam announces new funding for renters’ legal services

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday a new $4 million initiative to help cover the legal costs of renters facing evictions.

Northam said furniture giant IKEA was donating $2 million for the effort, which will pay for 20 legal aid attorneys during the next two years. The governor said the funding is critical to help the state’s poor amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The state is matching the grant with $2 million from revenue generated by so-called “gray machines” that look and play like slot machines and have proliferated in bars and convenience stores in recent years.

The money will go to the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, which oversees regional legal aid programs geared toward providing legal services to the poor.

Lawmakers are currently considering a proposal by Northam to ban evictions until May.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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