National data has shined a light on an eviction crisis in Virginia that some have said was “hidden in plain sight” for years. Five of Virginia’s largest cities, and three of its mid-sized cities, have some of the highest eviction rates in the country.

As soon as Professor Matthew Desmond’s Eviction Lab (www.evictionlab.org) revealed this crisis, groups throughout the state began trying to determine how to change what this data says about the lack of housing stability in the Commonwealth. On May 22, 2018, members of these groups and others, including property managers and leaders of the faith community, came together for the initial meeting of the Campaign to Reduce Evictions (CARE).

The problems created by evictions affect all of us. There is a real cost to our communities, whether it’s the actual cost to property managers and sheriff’s departments of carrying out evictions or the hidden costs to service providers and local governments who must deal with their aftermath. So it’s crucial for all of us to be involved in crafting the solutions.