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Protections Delayed for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Protections Delayed

Nearly 20 people per minute—more than 10 million per year—are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.

The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides survivors of domestic violence with strong housing protections and prohibits housing providers from using incidents of violence as grounds for evicting the victim. VAWA now applies to most federal housing programs, including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program operated by the U.S. Department of Treasury, which funds 90% of new affordable housing in the country through its Low-Income Tax Credit program.

Even though the 2013 VAWA reauthorization explicitly required that LIHTC providers comply with VAWA, the Department of the Treasury has issued no regulations or guidance on implementation for the LIHTC program. Protections Delayed: State Housing Finance Agency Compliance With The Violence Against Women Act, a new report issued by a national coalition comprised of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the National Housing Law Project, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and Regional Housing Legal Services, finds that the inaction of the part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury has led to significant state-by-state variation in the implementation of VAWA protections in the LIHTC program. This in turn has a substantial impact on level of protection afforded to survivors.

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