The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects tenants and family members of tenants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking from being evicted or terminated from housing assistance based on acts of such violence against them. These provisions apply both to public housing agencies administering housing and Section 8 programs and to owners renting to families under Section 8 rental assistance programs.
The federal government is drafting an approved notice explaining your rights under VAWA. In the meantime, this notification is a temporary explanation of those rights.
The Violence Against Women Act, or “VAWA”, is a federal law that provides legal protections to individuals (man or woman) who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking (collectively referred to as “violence” in this notice). Among other things, VAWA provides the following protections to victims of violence who receive publicly assisted housing benefits:
VAWA protections extend to you if the victim of the violence is:
In the language of VAWA, these people are “affiliated” with you.
If you or an affiliated person is a victim of violence, you may not be denied assistance, evicted, or have your assistance terminated because of the violence you or the affiliated person experienced. Keene Housing (KH) and your property manager may not:
You may only be evicted or terminated on the basis of violence against you or an affiliated person if there is an actual threat to other tenants or employees at the property if you remain in your unit.
If you request protection under VAWA, KH or your property manager may request verification that you or an affiliated person is a victim of violence. If so, you will be required to submit one of the following:
You must deliver one of the certifications above within 14 business days after you receive a request for certification or you cannot claim protection under VAWA. If KH has reason to believe that the certification is incomplete or inaccurate, KH may require additional third-party documentation of the incident.
KH and your property manager must keep confidential any information you provide about the violence against you, unless:
If release of the information would put your safety at risk, you should inform KH and your property manager.
If you or an affiliated person is a victim of violence, you may request that KH or your property manager take one of the following actions:
If you are a KH resident or voucher participant and would like additional information about KH’s policy regarding VAWA, please see KH VAWA Policy.
For help and advice on escaping an abusive relationship, call the Monadnock Crisis and Prevention Center Hotline at 1-888-511-MCVP (6287).