The VAWA protections apply to families applying for or receiving rental assistance payments under the project-based Section 8 program. The law protects victims of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, as well as their immediate family members generally, from being evicted or being denied housing assistance if an incident of violence that is reported and confirmed. The VAWA also provides that an incident of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence or stalking does not qualify as a serious or repeated violation of the lease nor does it constitute good cause for terminating the assistance, tenancy, or occupancy rights of the victim. Furthermore, criminal activity directly relating to domestic violence, dating violence or stalking is not grounds for terminating the victim’s tenancy. O/As may bifurcate a lease in order to evict, remove, or terminate the assistance of the offender while allowing the victim, who is a tenant or lawful occupant, to remain in the unit.
Update Tenant Selection Plans and Policies and Procedures
O/As should update their Tenant Selection Plans and/or House Rules, as applicable, to incorporate the VAWA policies and protections. Amending these documents will ensure uniformity in spreading awareness of the VAWA and avoid improper evictions.
O/As are encouraged to establish policies that support or assist victims of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking and that will protect victims, as well as members of their family, from losing their HUD-assisted housing as a consequence of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking.
O/As must provide tenants the option to complete the Certification form. The certification form found within HUD notice 09-15 may be made available to all eligible families at the time of admission or, in the event of a termination or start of an eviction for cause proceeding, the certification may be enclosed with the appropriate notice, directing the family to complete, sign and return the form within fourteen (14) business days.
O/As are required to attach the HUD-approved Lease Addendum, Form HUD-91067, (Attachment 2), which includes the VAWA provisions, to each existing or new lease.
Click here for complete HUD Notice VAWA guidelines.