The Violence Against Women Act 2013 was signed into law on March 7th, 2013. There are some of the key changes related to housing. HUD would like your comments by October 7, 2013. 

VAWA 2013 maintains protections for public housing, Section 8 and expands the housing protections from VAWA 2005 to include the following programs which includes HUD’s Homeless Assistance Programs:

  • HOME Investment Partnerships program
  • § 202 supportive housing for the elderly
  • Section 236 Rental Program
  • § 811 supportive housing for people with disabilities
  • Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) Program
  • HOPWA housing program
  • HUD’s McKinney-Vento homeless programs
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties
  • USDA Rural Housing properties

VAWA protections in housing and homeless programs state that:

  • Being a victim is not a basis for denial of assistance
  • Incidents or threats cannot be interpreted as serious or repeated violations of the lease or as “good cause” to terminate assistance
  • Criminal activity directly related to domestic violence that is engaged in by a member of a tenant;s household or any guest or other person under the tenant’s control cannot be used as a reason to terminate assistance
  • The term “immediate family member” is replaced with the term “affiliated individual”, which provides a more expansive definition
  • Evictions or ending assistance to any lawful occupant who engaged in criminal acts of physical violence is allowed, yet not evicting or ending the assistance of others in the household. If the person removed as a result was the sole eligible tenant, remaining tenants must have the opportunity to establish their eligibility for the program, or, if not eligible, be given a reasonable amount of time to find new housing

Click for HUD summary of changes.

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For more information about what you can do to help end domestic violence visit the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. 

24-Hour Phone Line: (866) 223-1111