Federal, State, and Local Laws and Protections
Awareness of the laws that provide housing protections for survivors enhances our ability to be effective advocates.
= web resource = downloadable file
Know Your Rights: Survivors of Domestic Violence - Your Rights in Private or Public Housing
This web page provides basic information about housing protections provided for by federal law.
Housing Rights: What You Need to Know If You are a Victim of Violence
Fact sheet on VAWA protections for survivors.
Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors: A State and Local Law Compendium
Compendium of state and local laws that affect domestic violence survivors’ housing rights. Designed to serve as a starting point for advocates as to housing protections that their state and local laws may offer domestic violence survivors. Updated with state and local laws enacted as of December 2017.
State Law Guide: Housing Protections for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence
A brief compendium of state, local, and federal laws providing housing protections for survivors.
An Overview of Recent HUD Developments
This article summarizes recent changes in housing policy that can potentially impact survivors’ abilities to obtain and maintain housing in an environment that is free from violence.
Key Housing Provisions in VAWA 2013
This information sheet summarizes the key housing-related provisions contained in VAWA 2013.
VAWA 2013 Sexual Assault Housing Protections
VAWA 2013 includes historic public housing protections for victims of sexual assault. Building on housing protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in VAWA 2005, VAWA 2013 added new protections and specifically adds victims of sexual assault and “affiliated individuals to the victim” as protected groups. These housing protections are available to victims of sexual assault now. This paper summarizes those protections.
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Housing Protections
Review and discussion of the VAWA 2013’s new and continuing housing protections for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Includes an overview of federally assisted housing programs covered by VAWA 2013.
VAWA 2013 Continues Vital Housing Protections for Survivors and Provides New Safeguards
This article summarizes the major housing provisions of VAWA 2013 and highlights key differences between VAWA 2005 and VAWA 2013.
Domestic Violence Is a Fair Housing Issue
This Fact Sheet details housing protections for DV survivors provided by the Federal Fair Housing Act as well as by Illinois state law and Cook County.
Keep Housing Safe and Fair: Nuisance Abatement, Crime-Free Housing Ordinances, Fair Housing, and Data
This webinar discusses enforcement of nuisance abatement ordinances, fair housing, and how to keep housing free of crime by using data.
Using HUD’s New Guidance about Fair Housing to Keep Victims Safe
This webinar explains the impact of nuisance abatement ordinances, what HUD’s new guidance means for families who experience domestic violence, and how to use HUD’s complaint process.
Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook - Chapter 19: Domestic Violence
This Guide is designed to assist public housing authority staff and HUD with a range of issues related to public housing occupancy, from application for admission and rent calculations through ongoing occupancy to lease termination. The guidebook is intended to provide a handy reference for all aspects of admissions and occupancy administration. This chapter is intended to establish a framework for the relationship between public housing agencies, victims of domestic violence who reside in public housing, and the domestic violence providers who may facilitate measures PHAs can employ to combat the problem.
Addressing Discriminatory Housing Barriers For Victims of Domestic Violence: A Toolkit for Advocates
Federal and state laws provide protections and remedies that can preserve survivors' housing. This toolkit provides advocates with information about how to help victims of domestic violence keep their housing. The tool kit draws from state-specific as well as federal law protections, including the Violence Against Women Act; Fair Housing Act; and the United States Constitution.
Housing Discrimination And Domestic Violence
Overview of housing discrimination survivors may face, the protections provided by federal law, and steps survivors can take to address it.
Assisting Survivors of Domestic Violence in Applying for Housing
This manual was created for advocates and attorneys working with survivors of domestic violence who are applying for housing. Efforts to help survivors find housing are crucial, as housing instability is a major obstacle for survivors who are seeking to end abusive relationships or to avoid returning to their abusers. The manual provides background information and sample documents that can be used to advocate on behalf of survivors who are seeking housing. The goal of this Manual is to make housing issues more accessible and easily understandable to advocates, regardless of their prior knowledge of housing law.
Leaving One’s Home to Escape an Abuser: A Brief Overview of Renter’s Protections
Survivors who rent their homes, particularly low-income survivors living in federally subsidized housing, may be hesitant to leave their homes out of fear of losing access to affordable housing. Other survivors living in market‐rate housing may fear the ﬁnancial penalties associated with ending a lease early. This article discusses select protections that may be available to survivors who wish to leave their rental units immediately for safety.
Housing Rights of Limited English Proficient Survivors
This presentation discusses language access in the context of domestic violence. Includes a review of protections for limited English proficient (LEP) survivors who reside in federally subsidized housing. Also discusses cases and settlements and outlines best practices.
Ensuring Access to Services for Survivors with Limited English Proficiency
Ensuring meaningful access to services is critical to protecting the life or safety of Survivors with limited English proficiency (LEP). In this document, Casa de Esperanza provides answers to frequently asked questions about the rights of access to services for LEP individuals.
National Housing Law Project: Trainings and Webinars
The National Housing Law Project provides webinars and trainings on a variety of topics relevant to programs working to provide safe housing for survivors. This link allows access to recorded versions and powerpoint slides of trainings on housing rights and protections for survivors, VAWA 2013 housing provisions, subsidized housing, credit and housing access, and many more.
Lost Housing, Lost Safety: Survivors of Domestic Violence Experience Housing Denials and Evictions Across the Country
Many victims and their children lose their homes when they flee abuse. In addition, many domestic violence survivors become homeless after being evicted from or denied housing as a result of the violence against them. The results of a recent national survey by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) demonstrate the extent of these evictions and denials of domestic violence victims, thereby adding to existing cases and stories.
Protections Delayed: State Housing Finance Agency Compliance With The Violence Against Women Act
Even though the 2013 VAWA reauthorization explicitly required that LIHTC providers comply with VAWA, the Department of the Treasury has issued no regulations or guidance on implementation for the LIHTC program. This report, issued by a national coalition comprised of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Housing Law Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and Regional Housing Legal Services, finds that the inaction on the part of the Treasury Department has led to significant state-by-state variation in the implementation of VAWA protections in the LIHTC program. This in turn has a substantial impact on the level of protection afforded to survivors.
Nuisance and Crime Free Ordinances and Policies: Protections for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
This webinar provides an introduction to the issue of nuisance ordinances and crime-free housing policies, including how they jeopardize housing security for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; generally discuss federal and state-level protections for survivors and other groups who are impacted by nuisance ordinances; and outline NHLP’s resources concerning the nuisance and crime-free issue.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Final Rule
This link provides useful background to a legal requirement that federal agencies and federal grantees further the purposes of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. HUD's AFFH rule aims to assist communities in taking meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination and address disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity.
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
The mission of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) is to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities. This website provides rich information about these rights for consumers, and includes a link to file a fair housing complaint online.
Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records
Many formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as individuals who were convicted but not incarcerated, encounter significant barriers to securing housing, including public and other federally-subsidized housing, because of their criminal history. In some cases, even individuals who were arrested but not convicted face difficulty in securing housing based on their prior arrest. In the U.S., African Americans and Hispanics are arrested, convicted and incarcerated at rates disproportionate to their share of the general population. Consequently, criminal records-based barriers to housing are likely to have a disproportionate impact on minority home seekers. HUD’s Office of General Counsel issues this guidance concerning how the Fair Housing Act applies to the use of criminal history by providers or operators of housing and real-estate related transactions.
HUD LGBT Rule Webinar
This YouTube webinar is a training on HUD's final rule, Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity (also know as the HUD LGBT Rule) implemented in 2012. The webinar includes an overview of the final rule provisions, examples and analysis of possible rule violations, and information on where someone would go for assistance if the rule is being violated.
Community-Based Advocates, Trauma Informed Lens & Legal Protections
This presentation adresses how advocates can enhance thier ability to work with domestic violence survivors and minimize compassion fatique by incorporating a trauma informed framework; understand the local and federal shelter/housing legal protections victims have in the District of Columbia; understand the legal protections to help ensure program compliance; and increase awareness of tools available to assist survivors to utilize the protections afforded to them.
Community-Based Advocates Toolkit: How to Make Sure Your Clients Have Safe Housing
Under local and federal laws, survivors have housing rights and remedies meant to ensure access to shelter or housing, and safety in their homes or their current housing situation. This toolkit addresses the most common questions asked and scenarios faced by domestic violence and homeless advocates in the District of Columbia. It contains information to help advocates understand the basic housing rights of domestic violence survivors and provides guidance to help survivors exercise these rights.
Equal Access Self-Assessment for Shelters and Projects
This self-assessment is a spreadsheet that projects can use to figure out their top priorities for improving policies and procedures as regards implementation of the Equal Access Rule on transgender status and gender expression. Projects can assess their own inclusivity through answering a series of questions. The tool generates the top three action steps based on those responses. Users can re-assess their performance periodically to continue operational improvement.
Preventing Homelessness: What Advocates Need to Know - Legal Protections for Survivors
Objectives for this presentation are to: Explore systemic level strategies to help prevent people from becoming homeless: Discuss VAWA protections for survivors on a local and federal level; and discuss homelessness prevention and practical strategies that can be used by advocates to assist survivors with maintaining their housing.
Equal Access Expectations Toolkit: Training Scenarios
These exercises incorporate best practices to assist project frontline staff and management in fostering an inclusive shelter community regardless of participants' gender expression or status as transgender. Includes scenarios, discussion points, and ideas for intervening.
Addressing Housing Barriers for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Colorado: A Toolkit for Advocates
Discriminatory housing practices by landlords, local laws, and public housing agencies can contribute greatly to survivors' homelessness and can often force a survivor to choose between homelessness and staying with an abusive partner. Advocates and local programs have an important role to play in reducing barriers to housing and advocating for survivors to maintain or find affordable housing. This toolkit is designed to assist advocates in better understanding federal and state law housing protections, survivor rights, options for housing, and how to work with your local public housing authorities and landlords to better serve survivors.
Sample Policy: Domestic Violence & Fair Housing
This sample policy on domestic violence was developed to assist housing providers in establishing policies and procedures that comply with fair housing laws. This policy includes legal background, as well as guidelines for use with applicants and residents who have been involved in domestic violence incidents.