President to Sign Violence Against Women Act
Law Will Prevent Homelessness for Survivors
March 07, 2013
After almost three years of advocacy by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and its partners, Congress has voted to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law today.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 adds survivors of sexual assault as a protected class under the law. It also extends VAWA's housing protections beyond public housing and Section 8 to include all housing programs administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program.
With 2.2 million housing units funded through LIHTCs, and about a million more through USDA, over 3 million housing units will now be covered -- helping to prevent a leading cause of homelessness for women: domestic violence.
To further ensure abused women are not forced to choose between keeping their subsidized housing and becoming homeless, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 also requires housing providers to adopt emergency transfer policies. Moreover, it obligates housing providers to give survivors notice of their VAWA rights during any eviction process, and also covers victims of sexual assault in its protections.
The Law Center is deeply proud that, after its years of advocacy, Congress has finally acted to protect survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Republicans and Democrats are in agreement: no woman should ever be forced to choose between becoming homeless or remaining with an abuser.