Violence Against Women Act
On October 27, 2010, HUD published its final rule to the Violence Against Women Act. IHA is required to inform all program participants and landlords of their rights under this law. The phrase "victims of domestic violence" includes domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Under this law:
- A Section 8 participant's assistance will not be terminated as a result of being a victim of domestic violence.
- Any incident(s) of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking against a resident will not be construed as a lease violation and will not be considered good cause for termination of Section 8 assistance.
- If a participant is the victim or threatened victim of domestic violence, any resulting criminal activity directly related to the domestic violence shall not be cause for termination of assistance, tenancy, or occupancy rights.
- An owner or manager may split a lease, in order to evict, remove, or terminate assistance to any individual who is a tenant or lawful occupant and who engages in criminal acts of physical violence against family members or others, in order to avoid penalizing the victim of such violence.
Nothing above limits the authority of a public housing agency, owner, or manager to:
- Honor court orders addressing rights of access to or control of the property.
- Evict or terminate assistance to a tenant for any violation of a lease which is not related to domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, provided that an individual who is or has been a victim of domestic violence is not held to a more demanding standard than other tenants in determining whether to evict or terminate.
- Evict or terminate assistance to any tenant or lawful occupant if they can demonstrate an actual and imminent threat to other tenants or those employed at, or providing service to, the property if that tenant is not evicted or terminated from assistance.
If a family is forced to move in order to protect the health or safety of the individual who is or has been the victim of domestic violence and it is reasonable to believe they were imminently threatened by harm from further violence if they remained in the assisted dwelling unit, the family may move to another jurisdiction and if applicable, receive continuing Section 8 assistance if all obligations of the Section 8 program have been met.
In general, all information provided to an owner, manager, or public housing agency, including the fact that an individual is a victim of domestic violence, will be retained in confidence and shall neither be entered into any shared database nor provided to any related entity, except when that disclosure is:
- Requested or consented to by the individual in writing.
- Required for use in an eviction proceeding.
- Otherwise required by applicable law.