House Bill Doesn't Go Far Enough to Protect Survivors
Official Statement on VAWA Reauthorization Bill (HR 4970)
Press Type: Press Release Associated Program: Domestic Violence
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by a vote of 222-205. Unfortunately, this bill fails to protect all victims of violence and was passed over strong objections from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty and a coalition of 325 national organizations.
While we are pleased that the bill expands housing protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to additional HUD and USDA rural housing programs, as well as properties built using Low Income Housing Tax Credits, the House excluded two critical provisions adopted by the Senate on April 26.
The House bill makes emergency transfer policies non-mandatory. This means that public housing authorities and affordable housing owners have no obligation to quickly move survivors to safe housing when remaining in their current home leaves them at risk. Moreover, the House bill has no requirement that housing providers give survivors notice of their VAWA rights when they are threatened with eviction. This places survivors at high risk of unlawful eviction and homelessness.
As differences between the House and Senate bills are resolved, we look forward to working with the Obama Administration and key Congressional leaders, including Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Senator Al Franken (D-MN), to ensure the protections adopted by a bipartisan majority in the Senate become law.
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