HUD Issues VAWA Implementation Guidance for Owners of HUD-Assisted Multifamily Housing

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs issued Notice H 2017-05, providing guidance to owners and management agents of HUD-assisted multifamily housing regarding the final rule implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013). Advocates will also benefit from familiarity with the guidance. The guidance applies to properties assisted by the Project-based Section 8, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities, Section 236 Multifamily Housing, and Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate programs.

On November 16, 2016, HUD issued a final rule (VAWA Final Rule) implementing VAWA 2013 for HUD’s housing programs (see Memo, 11/21/16). Because Notice H 2017-05 does not touch on every aspect of the VAWA Final Rule, the Notice should be used in conjunction with the VAWA Final Rule.

The VAWA Final Rule includes core protections across HUD programs, ensuring individuals are not denied assistance, evicted, or have their assistance terminated because of their status as survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or for being affiliated with a victim. In addition, HUD programs must be operated consistent with the Equal Access Rule (see Memo, 2/3/12) which requires HUD-assisted housing be made available regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

The 44-page Notice summarizes the major changes to the multifamily housing programs and includes an appendix that provides items to consider when developing VAWA policies. Among the topics covered by the Notice are who may receive VAWA protections, VAWA lease addendums, notices of occupancy rights, victim confidentiality, emergency transfers, family breakup, lease bifurcation, and establishing waiting list preferences.

HUD will be offering two trainings, one on July 26, at 2:30 pm ET, focused on owners and management agents and another on August 1, at 1:30 pm ET, focused on performance-based contract administrators. Registration information is not yet available.

HUD will be preparing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and invites stakeholders to submit questions to Carissa Janis at carissa.l.janis@hud.gov.

HUD issued a similar notice, Notice PIH-2017-08, pertaining to public housing and private owners who accept Housing Choice Vouchers (see Memo, 5/30).

Notice H 2017-05 is at: http://bit.ly/2tRejhW