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New Housing Protections Under The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

January 30, 2018

The Violence Against Women Act of 2013 (VAWA) and subsequent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes new housing protections for individuals participating in HUD-funded housing programs who are survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking. In response, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Commission has approved “Housing Protections Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care.”  This policy provides protections against discrimination, a requirement to notify participants of occupancy rights, a requirement to develop emergency transfer plans, and establishes provisions for lease bifurcation.

LAHSA’s policy extends VAWA housing protections to survivors of human trafficking and makes requirements under VAWA applicable to all housing providers that receive LAHSA funding. This is to ensure that separate or unequal situations are not created for participants within housing programs who have or are currently experiencing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and/or human trafficking.

To assist with implementation, HUD has published forms 5380, 5381, 5382, and 5383  which provide further details on procedures around the notice of occupancy rights and the emergency transfer plan. To further facilitate implementation within the Los Angeles CoC, LAHSA has made minor modifications to the HUD forms to ensure that they include human trafficking victims and contact information for local resources:

The HUD forms are also available in multiple languages: https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/administration/hudclips/forms/hud5a

LAHSA will issue further guidance pertaining to implementation as supporting materials and trainings are developed and made available. 

About the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA):

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, and coordinates and manages over $243 million annually in federal, state, county and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing and services to homeless people.To see LAHSA’s Continuum of Care policies, please visit https://www.lahsa.org/news?article=331-la-continuum-of-care-policies.

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