Violence Against Women Act
What is VAWA?
Initially passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) created the first U.S. federal legislation acknowledging domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and provided federal resources to encourage community-coordinated responses to combating violence. The Housing Choice Voucher and HOME programs must be operated allowing for the protections of VAWA.
This law is not limited to women and it extends to any person without regard to sex, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or age. VAWA prohibits denial of assistance, tenancy, or occupancy rights to victims based solely on criminal activity related to an act of domestic violence committed against them. It does not protect the perpetrator.
Where can you get more information?
More information can be found in AHA’s Administrative Plan for information on how the AHA handles VAWA of the Housing Authority. Chapter 3 contains information for applicants and Chapter 12 contains for participants receiving assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based Voucher Programs.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 is available through the Government Printing Office at:
How does a victim claim VAWA?
To file a claim for VAWA protections against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, please follow the instructions found on HUD-FORM 5382 which can be found on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website via the button below. Then scroll down to HUD-5382 Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking and Alternative Documentation. This form is available in multiple languages at the button below including three of the four languages required under the AHA’s Language Access Plan for individuals with Limited English Proficiency.
What do I need to know as a Landlord?
Landlords under the Housing Choice Voucher program have to comply with VAWA. A landlord may not evict a tenant if the basis of the eviction is solely on criminal activity against a victim that is protected under VAWA. VAWA does not limit the legal authority of AHA or a landlord to terminate the assistance of any participant if it “can demonstrate an actual and imminent threat to other tenants or those employed at or providing service to the property if that tenant is not evicted or terminated from assistance.” It also does not protect the perpetrator.
What are the Confidentiality Requirements?
All information provided to the AHA regarding domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, including the fact that an individual is a victim of such violence or stalking, must be retained in confidence and may neither be entered into any shared database nor provided to any related entity, except to the extent that the disclosure (a) is requested or consented to by the individual in writing, (b) is required for use in an eviction proceeding, or (c) is otherwise required by applicable law.
Does the Housing Authority Have an Emergency Transfer Plan?
The Housing Authority of the City of Alameda has an emergency transfer plan for participants under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Project-Based Voucher Programs, Moderate Rehabilitation Program, Shelter Plus Care Program, and the HOME program. For the emergency transfer plan, click the button below.