Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Domestic Violence and Homelessness: Helping Children, Youth, and Families Stay Housed Eric S. Tars Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Domestic Violence and Homelessness: Helping Children, Youth, and Families Stay Housed Eric S. Tars Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Domestic Violence and Homelessness: Helping Children, Youth, and Families Stay Housed Eric S. Tars Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs

2 Overview Domestic Violence & Homelessness Background The Violence Against Women Act Housing Protections for Survivors and their Children Education & Homelessness Education Protections for Homeless Children Fleeing Domestic Violence Putting it Together Q&A

3 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & HOMELESSNESS

4 Domestic Violence & Homelessness 80% of families in homelessness are female-headed 50%+ of homeless mothers do not have a high school diploma 29% of adults in homeless families work 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse 63% was perpetrated by intimate male partner 94% of homeless children are in homeless families Domestic violence a primary cause of homelessness in 16 cities

5 Causes of Family Homelessness Extreme poverty Insufficient minimum wage earnings Families need twice the Federal Poverty Level income to meet their basic needs Lack of affordable, safe housing 5.8 million units needed to fill gap Wait for public housing or assistance 1.5 – 3 years on average Domestic violence Difficulty in finding housing due to economic experience of violence

6 DV Can Jeopardize Housing Eviction threat because of criminal activity because called police too often because of noise of violence because of property damage because of unauthorized resident simply because person is a victim

7 DV Creates Barriers to Stable Housing Need to break lease Need to transfer housing subsidies Need to change locks Lack of steady income Negative credit history Prior evictions Control of lease by abuser Lack of knowledge of housing protections

8 VAWA 2005 Protects the housing rights of applicants and tenants who are survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in Public Housing and Section 8 units Prohibits survivors from being evicted or denied housing assistance because of acts of violence committed against them

9 VAWA 2013 Explicitly cover survivors of sexual assault Expands covered federally assisted housing to cover ALL federal housing programs Mandates that housing authorities create and implement an emergency transfer policy Requires housing authorities to provide notice to tenants on VAWA rights

10 Who is covered? Any person who is or has been a victim of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault as defined by VAWA Any person who is protected by state family violence laws Immediate family members of the survivor

11 What rights are afforded? Rights to confidentiality Protections in applying for housing Rights to move or transfer Protections against evictions and subsidy terminations Lease/Subsidy bifurcation Notice

12 Confidentiality Housing providers must keep info survivor provides for certification confidential Housing providers may not enter info into a shared database or provide to another entity

13 Protection in Applying for Housing Housing providers may not deny an applicant admission to housing or rental assistance on the basis that the applicant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. In practice denial is not typically explicit VAWA does not explicitly address denials in housing based on negative tenancy or credit history

14 Rights to Move or Transfer Tenant may continue to receive voucher assistance if a survivor of violence moved to protect health or safety, and reasonably believed she was threatened with imminent harm VAWA mandates that PHAs create and implement an emergency transfer policy

15 Protections Against Evictions & Subsidy Terminations VAWA provides that criminal activity directly relating to DV must not be considered cause for eviction or subsidy termination for the survivor Establishes an exception to the federal one-strike criminal activity eviction rule for tenants who are victims. 1 act triggers VAWA protections Physical act of threat of physical act triggers VAWA protections

16 Removing Abuser from Household Housing provider can bifurcate a lease Split the lease in order to evict the perpetrator PHA may also terminate section 8 assistance to the perpetrator while preserving assistance to the survivor

17 PHA Obligations Provide notice of VAWA rights to tenants Include VAWA housing protections in the leases, lease addendums, and housing assistance contracts Discuss domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault in 5- year and annual plans Create and implement an emergency transfer policy for survivors

18 State laws Where state or federal law is more favorable to victim than VAWA, more favorable law governs

19 State laws 80% allow courts to exclude perpetrator from lease California Indiana Wisconsin 76% protect confidentiality of housing records Colorado Florida 44% provide rights to emergency shelter Florida New Hampshire 42% permit early lease termination Illinois

20 State laws 26 % of states have enacted housing anti-discrimination statutes Rhode Island District of Columbia 18% of states have enacted statutes that provide survivors with a defense against eviction District of Columbia Washington

21 State laws – key recommendations Specify activities that constitute discrimination Require landlords to bifurcate lease at survivors request Create a private right of action based on state law for violations of housing protections Mandate PHAs report on terminations of survivors Create address confidentiality program and exemptions from public records requirements Require employers to provide leave from work to relocate or improve safety

22 State laws 26 % of states have enacted housing anti-discrimination statutes Rhode Island District of Columbia 18% of states have enacted statutes that provide survivors with a defense against eviction District of Columbia Washington

23 EDUCATION & HOMELESSNESS

24 Who is covered? Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence Doubled-up, couch surfing Motels, hotels, camp grounds Shelters Abandoned buildings, cars Awaiting foster care placements Families and unaccompanied youth fleeing DV may hide their status as DV victims – its not up to the school to judge

25 Important Considerations Preschool Homeless preschoolers are eligible for McKinney-Vento protections and must be prioritized for Head Start Dispute resolution process Parent, guardian or youth must be provided notice of determination and the right of appeal Student must be allowed to attend school during the appeal Liaison must make sure the process is expeditious School records and protecting families Encourage schools to protect student privacy (particularly in DV)

26 PUTTING IT TOGETHER

27 Putting It Together Protecting the housing rights of survivors of domestic violence not only helps to prevent housing instability for the individual and their families, but promotes the holistic stability and improved life outcomes for their children. Protecting the education rights of homeless children (often the witnesses or survivor of domestic violence) is a key component in ensuring that these children have the skills to move themselves out of poverty. Be aware of opportunities to address

28 Breaking the Cycle Preventing low-income women from becoming homeless Domestic violence Affordable housing Advocacy & legal supports Ensuring the right of homeless children to attend school Educational stability Transportation Privacy Other supports

29 Discussion & Questions Eric S. Tars, Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs (202) x. 120 nlchp.org


Download ppt "Domestic Violence and Homelessness: Helping Children, Youth, and Families Stay Housed Eric S. Tars Director of Human Rights & Childrens Rights Programs."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google