Federal Agency Expands Housing Protection For Domestic Abuse Survivors

Published: Monday, October 24, 2016 - 5:39pm
Updated: Monday, October 24, 2016 - 6:07pm
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(Photo by Mariana Dale -KJZZ)
Secretary Castro says new rules will expand the protections for survivors of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro was in Chandler on Monday to announce new protections for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking.

Abuse survivors who live in HUD-funded housing can now get emergency transfers away from a dangerous home.

“It allows a survivor to determine what constitutes a safe unit, so it keeps them in control of their own relocation,” Secretary Castro said during a luncheon at the the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conference.

If a new unit isn’t immediately available, Castro said housing providers will need to create a plan for house to assist survivors.

In most cases, those who experience abuse will only need to self-declare their situation as proof.

The rules introduced Monday are in response to the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

The new rules also prevent local housing providers from denying applications solely based on consequences of domestic violence such as prior eviction or bad credit.

“All of this work sends a clear message to survivors,” Castro said. “We stand with you.”

Housing providers that receive funding from HUD, including those that serve the homeless, elderly and disabled are required to comply with the new rules 180 days after the rules are published to the federal register.

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