On April 1, HUD published proposed regulations implementing the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013. As reported by NLIHC, a preview version was circulated by HUD on March 24 (see Memo, 3/31).
VAWA, which pertains to many federal programs, provides protections and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The 2013 reauthorization expanded VAWA beyond public housing and vouchers to a number of other HUD programs. In the context of HUD programs, being a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking cannot be the basis for denial of assistance or admission to assisted rental housing. VAWA also has requirements regarding notification to tenants of their rights and protections under VAWA, provisions regarding the rights and responsibilities of public housing agencies and of owners and managers of assisted housing, provisions pertaining to acceptable documentation of incidents of domestic violence and related acts, and provisions regarding maintaining the confidentiality of victims.
As the preamble to the proposed rule notes, although VAWA refers specifically to women in its title, the statute makes clear that the protections are for all victims, regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.
Comments are due June 1. NLIHC will be providing more analysis, as well as a sample comment letter for advocates to submit to HUD.
The proposed rule is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-01/pdf/2015-06781.pdf
Information about the housing needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking is on page 6-1 of NLIHC’s 2015 Advocates’ Guide, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/AG_2015_FINAL.pdf