VAWA Home: Rights for Survivors in LIHTC
Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking across the country are often denied housing protections, making them more likely to lose their homes. Many state agencies that administer Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing are not prioritizing the housing rights of survivors. Where does your state stand?
Almost 8% of women who experienced intimate partner violence and over 7% of women who experienced rape needed housing services.
Over 50% of women who needed housing services did not receive them.
Sources: The Impact of Intimate Partner Violence: A 2015 NISVS Research-in-Brief (pdf at p. 4); Chronic Diseases, Health Conditions, and Other Impacts Associated With Rape Victimization of U.S. Women (Table 2 (full article behind paywall); abstract); The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, Intimate Partner Violence in the United States - 2010 (pdf, p. 56)
Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking face barriers to accessing and maintaining safe housing because of the violence committed against them. For example, survivors may be denied housing because of bad credit histories caused by their perpetrators, or they may be evicted because of criminal activity related to the violence. These challenges are compounded for survivors who are persons of color, are LGBTQ, are immigrants, or experience disabilities.
The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program creates the largest number of affordable rental housing in the country.
A federal law called the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides housing protections for survivors applying for and living in LIHTC housing.
VAWA is critical to ensuring that survivors are not denied LIHTC housing or lose their LIHTC housing because of the violence committed against them.
LIHTC CREATES MORE AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS THAN ANY OTHER HOUSING PROGRAM IN THE UNITED STATES
LIHTC operates differently in each state. The way that VAWA is implemented in LIHTC properties can vary by state.
By 2020, only 25 states mentioned VAWA in LIHTC compliance documents, even though VAWA's housing protections have applied to LIHTC properties since 2013.