Violence Against Women Act

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A federal law went into effect in 2006 that protects individuals who are victims of domestic violence, dating vilence, and stalking.  The name of the law is Violence Against Women Act, or "VAWA".  This notice explains your rights under VAWA.

Protections for Victims

If you are eligible for a Section 8 voucher, the Housing Authority cannot deny you rental assistance solely because you are a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, you cannot be terminated from the Section 8 program or evicted based on acts or threats of violence committed against you.  Also, criminal acts directly related to the domestic violence, dating violence or stalking that are caused by a member of your household or guest can't be the reason for evicting you or terminating your rental assistance if you were the victim of abuse.

Reasons You Can Be Evicted

You can be evicted and your rental assistance can be terminated if the Housing Authority or your landlord can show there is an actual and imminent (immediate) threat to other tenants or employees at the property if you remain in your housing.  Also, you can be evicted and your rental assistance can be terminated for serious or repeated lease violations that are not related to the domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking committed against you.  The Housing Authority and your landlord cannot hold you to a more demanding set of rules than it applies to tenants who are not victims.

Removing the Abuser from the Household

Your landlord may split the lease to evict the tenant who has committed crimnal acts of violence against family members or others, while allowing the victim and other household members to stay in the assisted unit.  Also the Housing AUthority can terminate the abuser's Section 8 rental assistance while allowing you to continue to receive assistance.  If the Landlord or Housing Authority chooses to remove the abuser, it may not take away the remaining tenants' rights to the unit or otherwise punish the remaining tenants.  In removing the abuser from the household, your landlord must follow federal, state, and local eviction procedures.

Moving to Protect your Safety

The Housing Authority may permit you to move and still keep your rental assistance, even if your current lease has not yet expired.  The Housing Authority may require that you be current on your rent or other obligations in the Housing Choice Voucher program.  The Housing Authority may ask you to provide proof that you are moving because of incidences of abuse.

For additional information, please consult Housing Authority personnel.


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