This is a compiled list of existing state laws and pending legislation that counteract the legal problems that victims of domestic violence face in obtaining housing. This document also includes measures that:
This U.S. Supreme Court case is notable because it supports the idea that public housing authorities are required under U.S. law to have lease provisions that allow for eviction of tenant who is "innocent" of drug-related criminal activity, e.g. the tenant did not engage in the activity, did not know about the activity and/or it was not within their control. The Court explains that the U.S. Congress knew how to provide an "innocent owner" defense, but failed to do so in this instance.
Bouley v. Young-Sabourin is a federal court case from Vermont involving a survivor of domestic violence evicted from her home after reporting an incident of domestic violence. The court ruling provides that discrimination against a victim of domestic violence, if proven, can be sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. Advocates may find this press story and court ruling helpful for public education purposes and for seeking non-punitive reactions by private and public landlords in their responses to survivors of domestic violence.
United States and Tiffanie Alvera v. C.B.M. Group, Inc., CV No. 01-857-PA (D. Or., filed June 8, 2001)
This document cover a legal case where a survivor of domestic violence in Oregon received a notice of eviction immediately following her informing her landlord that she had received a protection order against her husband. The survivor lived in Rural Development (USDA) housing. The landlord, C.B.M.attempted to evict Ms.
This page, subtitled ñFair Housing--It's Your Rightî provides basic facts about the Fair Housing Act including what is covered and what is prohibited.
Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 514(e), Pub. L. No. 105-276 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 1437f note)
Providing the sense of Congress that, each public housing agency involved in the selection of eligible families for assistance under the United States Housing Act of 1937 (including residency in public housing and tenant-based assistance under section 8 of such Act) should, consistent with the public housing agency plan of the agency, consider preferences for individuals who are victims of domestic violence.
Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, Title VI of Pub. L. No. 109-162 (to be codified at various sections of Title 42)
Providing congressional findings, public housing and section 8 housing choice voucher protections, McKinney-Vento HMIS amendments, federal housing planning requirements modifications, and grant programs explicitly relevant to DV survivors.
Available from: http://thomas.loc.gov/
This document is a compilation of state laws and pending state legislation involving housing and domestic and sexual violence. The material is organized in chart form and by type of law, state, citation, and a brief summary.
This review lists state laws and recent legislative proposals addressing housing-related issues faced by survivors of domestic and sexual assault, including prohibitions on housing discrimination, defenses to eviction, termination of leases, and penalties for seeking police assistance. Links from the document take the reader to actual text of the laws and legislative proposals. Advocates will find this state law and legislative review helpful for possible state-level housing-related legislative actions and ideas.
The article focuses primarily on federal law and cases discussing sex discrimination, but also includes a listing of state law citations for state and local fair housing and laws prohibiting eviction or discrimination against tenants because of domestic violence.
Available from: Contact the NRCDV at 800-537-2238.