CALL TO ACTION: Affordable housing vigil happening Sunday in Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO — Virginia Organizing, Embrace Community Center and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waynesboro will hold a vigil on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. outside the Embrace Community Center.

The vigil will be part of a coordinated network of actions happening across the state organized by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, according to a press release from Virginia Organizing.

Three out of 10 households in Virginia pay too much for housing, and the cost for both rent and home ownership have gone up exponentially in recent years, the release said.  

Waynesboro deeply feels the state’s housing crisis — from the long waitlist for housing assistance to having one of the country’s highest eviction rates, said Virginia Organizing.

The groups will be calling on state legislators to allocate funding for affordable housing projects like Virginia’s Housing Trust Fund, Housing Stability Fund and Eviction Reduction Program in the state budget during this year’s General Assembly session.


  • $75 million to the Virginia Housing Trust Fund to build more affordable housing and help prevent homelessness
  • $738 million to the Housing Stability Fund to fund a rental voucher program to assist families with low incomes
  • $12.5 million to the Virginia Eviction Reduction Program (VERP) to reduce evictions with short-term financial assistance to at-risk renters or homeowners

Waynesboro Chapter of Virginia Organizing

The event will also be highlighting a local campaign that the Waynesboro Chapter of Virginia Organizing has been working on.

The local chapter is asking the City of Waynesboro to create a rental inspection program in order to:

  • Prevent: Property deterioration, unsafe living conditions, neighborhood decline and neighborhood blight
  • Promote: Safe, decent, habitable and sanitary rental dwelling units for citizens
  • Improve: Neighborhood property values and neighborhood appearance 

While this does not directly create more affordability, this is another important piece of the pie in addressing the local housing crisis, a spokesperson for Virginia Organizing said. The Waynesboro Chapter wants to see renters protected and living in safe and healthy rentals, and also see existing housing stock preserved, the spokesperson said.

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