Protections Provided under the VAWA
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides protections to women or men who are the victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking – collectively referred to as VAWA crimes. Disciple Homes and the properties it manages understands that, regardless of whether state or local laws protect victims of VAWA crimes, people who have been victims of violence have certain rights under federal fair housing regulation.
This policy is intended to support or assist victims of VAWA crimes and protect victims, as well as affiliated persons, from being denied housing or from losing their HUD assisted housing because of their status as a victim of VAWA crimes.
Affiliated persons include:
A spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child of the victim, or a person to whom the victim stands in the place of a parent or guardian (for example, the affiliated individual is a person in the care, custody, or control of the victim); or
Any individual, resident/applicant, or lawful occupant living in the household of that individual.
Being a victim of a VAWA crime is not reason to waive requirements set forth in the HUD Model Lease or in any lease attachment or HUD approved lease addendum unless such requirements interfere with protections provided under the VAWA.
Disciple Homes will not assume that any act is a result of abuse covered under the Violence Against Women Act. In order to receive the protections outlined in the VAWA, the applicant/resident must specify that he/she wishes to exercise these protections. If any applicant or resident wishes to exercise the protections provided in the VAWA, he/she should contact the owner/agent or the property staff immediately. Disciple Homes is committed to ensuring that the Privacy Act is enforced in this and all other situations.
The Notice of Occupancy Rights under the Violence Against Women Act provides notice to the resident/applicant of the confidentiality of information about a person seeking to exercise VAWA protections and the limits thereof. The identity of the victim and all information provided to Disciple Homes relating to the incident(s) of abuse covered under the VAWA will be retained in confidence. Information will not be entered into any shared database nor provided to a related entity, except to the extent that the disclosure is
Requested or consented to by the victim in writing; or
Required for use in an eviction proceeding or termination of assistance; or
Otherwise required by applicable law.
Disciple Homes will retain all documentation relating to an individual’s domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking in a separate file that is kept in a separate secure location from other applicant or resident files.
Requests & Certification
When Disciple Homes responds to a request to exercise protections provided under the VAWA they will request that an individual complete, sign, and submit the VAWA certification form, within fourteen (14) business days of the request. This certification may be submitted in an equally effective manner, as a reasonable accommodation, if there is the presence of a disability.
If the applicant/resident has sought assistance in addressing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking from a federal, state, tribal, territorial jurisdiction, local police or court, the resident may submit written proof of this outreach in lieu of the certification form. Management will accept the following:
A federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local police record or court record or
Documentation signed and attested to by a professional (employee, agent or volunteer of a victim service provider, an attorney, medical personnel, etc.). From whom the victim has sought assistance in addressing domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking or the effects of the abuse.The signatory attests under penalty of perjury (28 U.S.C. §1746) to his/her belief that the incident in question represents bona fide abuse, and the victim of domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking has signed or attested to the documentation.
The victim is not required to name his/her accused perpetrator if doing so would result in imminent threat or if the victim does not know the name of his/her accused perpetrator.
PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHED DOWNLOADABLE FORMS: