NHLP Releases New Resource on Tenant Rights for Domestic Violence Survivors during COVID-19

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) released on May 4 an overview of the housing rights of domestic violence survivors during the coronavirus outbreak. The document reminds advocates that housing protections instituted in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) are still in effect during the pandemic and that public housing agencies (PHAs) can still process requests for VAWA protections.

The federal moratorium on evictions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act bans evictions for nonpayment of rent in certain types of federally assisted housing. However, unless a state or locality specifies otherwise, tenants can still face eviction for criminal activity or other lease violations. Survivors of domestic violence sometimes face eviction because of crimes or lease violations related to their abuse, like damage to the unit or repeated calls to law enforcement.

VAWA housing protections ensure that survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking who live in certain types of federally assisted housing will not face eviction or have their housing assistance terminated because of the violence committed against them. In many cases, survivors living in covered housing are able to complete a self-certification form to assert VAWA protections without obtaining a police report or restraining order. Despite the coronavirus crisis, PHAs are still able to process forms requesting VAWA protections. The guidance advises advocates that if a survivor receives an eviction notice during the pandemic, they should immediately connect the survivor to a housing attorney.

Read NHLP’s full guidance at: https://bit.ly/2YE6NFt