**FILE** Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a new $4 million program to assist renters facing eviction with their legal bills.

Northam said Monday that furniture chain IKEA planned to donate $2 million toward the program, which will finance 20 legal aid attorneys during the next two years, The Associated Press reported.

The state plans to match the IKEA grant with $2 million from “gray machines” that have the appearance of and operate like slot machines, which have grown in number in recent years in bars and convenience stores.

The funds from the two sources will go to the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia, which manages regional legal aid programs geared toward providing legal services to the indigent. Northam said the program will be critical in helping the state’s poor in light of the coronavirus pandemic, AP reported.

Northam starts this program as state legislators consider his plan to ban evictions until May 2021.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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