FAQ

Finding Housing

How do I find LIHTC housing?


There is no national source of information about LIHTC unit availability. There is a national database maintained by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which may not show apartments added or removed from the LIHTC program in the most recent several years. The LIHTC data is mapped on PolicyMap. This can give you a start on finding a LIHTC apartment. States also have their own listings of LIHTC (or other subsidized housing). The quality of the lists and how frequently they are updated will likely vary. You can also watch for funding announcements on your state agency's website to see which developments are being funded. There is no single source for applying for LIHTC housing. The public housing waiting lists are not lists for LIHTC units generally. You have to search for and apply to individual LIHTC properties -- like any other private market apartment.




How do I find affordable housing that is not LIHTC housing?


There is a wide variety of affordable housing programs in the United States that are paid for by federal, state, and local governments. This website explains some of the categories of subsidized housing and provides advice on how to locate available housing. Your state may also have an affordable housing resource list.




Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for LIHTC housing?


No, the federal LIHTC program does not require that a person be a U.S. citizen or have a particular immigration status to access LIHTC housing. However, LIHTC housing is often developed with multiple kinds of funding and those other funding sources may restrict access for certain non-citizens. If you are working with an immigrant survivor and the LIHTC unit(s) you are considering have multiple kinds of funding or you have other questions regarding immigrant survivors and LIHTC, please contact us.




Do you need a Social Security Number to apply for LIHTC housing?


It depends. The federal LIHTC program does not require applicants to provide Social Security Numbers (SSNs). However, LIHTC housing is often developed with multiple kinds of funding and those other funding sources may require certain household members to have SSNs.

Also, state agencies administering LIHTC may require SSNs to apply for LIHTC units. States requiring SSNs are creating unnecessary barriers to survivors who do not have SSNs.

Here is a map that shows which states mention SSNs in their Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs) or LIHTC Compliance Manuals (CMs), and whether they make it clear that a SSN is not required to apply for LIHTC housing. The map shows the states that list a SSN as documentation. In some cases, the states list alternate documents that applicants can provide (hover over a state to see), but many do not.




What kinds of housing assistance do immigrant survivors qualify for?


Immigrant survivors face unique challenges when accessing and maintaining safe housing. Unfortunately, there is misinformation among housing providers and survivor advocates about immigrant survivors’ eligibility for housing and homeless assistance programs. This resource details the housing assistance that is available to immigrant survivors generally and during COVID-19. If you have questions about this topic, please contact us.





Getting Help

How do I find help if I have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault?


For Survivors -

For Housing Providers - If we are missing an organization or existing listing, please let us know.




How can I find an attorney?


There are a range of legal services available to people across the country. The easiest way to locate programs that might be able to help you is to do a web search with your town name and "legal aid" or "legal services." You can also look at larger directories of legal services programs, but please note that these lists are not exhaustive.

Location-Specific Resources* *If you provide free legal services to survivors and want to be listed here, please contact us.




Where can I get race and culture-focused support?


For Survivors -

For Providers - If we are missing a resource, please let us know.




Where can I get immigration-focused support?


For Survivors -

For Providers - If we are missing an organization or existing listing, please let us know.




Where can I get religion-focused support?


For Survivors -

For Providers - If we are missing an organization or existing listing, please let us know.




Where can I get LGBT-focused support?


For Survivors -

For Advocates - If we are missing an organization or existing listing, please let us know.




Where can I get ability-focused support?


For Survivors -

For Advocates - If we are missing an organization or existing listing, please let us know.




How do I know if I qualify for VAWA's housing protections?


VAWA protects someone who has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. The survivor does NOT have to be married to, related to, or living with the perpetrator to be protected by VAWA. It does not matter how long ago the survivor experienced the violence. VAWA protects survivors, regardless of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation and regardless of the sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation of the person who caused the harm. VAWA's housing protections apply to a survivor if they are applying for or living in shelter, transitional housing, or permanent housing that is subsidized by federal homeless assistance program or federal affordable housing program, such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.





Keeping Housing

How do I confirm a unit is covered by VAWA?


If you are required to submit annual income information or have your rent set by your income, you may be in federally assisted unit that is covered by VAWA. To find out if your unit is federally subsidized:

  • Check your lease or any lease addendum, to see if it mentions a federally assisted program, such as Section 8 or LIHTC.
  • Ask your landlord or property manager (although they may not actually know the answer -- if they tell you "no", do more research).
  • Check the map of subsidized properties via PolicyMap
  • Use one of the resources from National Housing Preservation Database (NOTE: you will need to register for an account to see the data for the National Housing Preservation Database, but you can look at the interactive map without creating a login).
  • Get help from a legal services attorney (list is not exhaustive).




Does VAWA stop all evictions?


No. VAWA only protects survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking from being evicted or having their housing assistance terminated because of the violence committed against them. VAWA does not protect survivors from evictions due to lease violations that are not related to the violence. Whether your landlord is evicting you for VAWA reasons can be difficult to determine. Survivors who are facing evictions or assistance terminations should contact their local legal services office immediately.




What do I do if my landlord is evicting me because of domestic or sexual violence?


  • Confirm you are living in a housing unit covered by VAWA.
  • Tell the landlord that you are protected by VAWA.
  • Your landlord may allow a verbal statement or ask for written proof. If they request a written statement, and/or supporting documentation, they must request it in writing with a date, and give you 14 business days to respond.
  • You can self-certify using HUD Form 5382.
  • Contact your local legal aid office immediately.





For Landlords & HFAs

How can landlords help survivors?


Follow VAWA's requirements, including:

  • Ensure that applicants and tenants are not denied assistance or have their assistance terminated on the basis of or as a direct result of having been a survivor of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Ensure that applicants and tenants receive the notice of VAWA housing rights (HUD-5380) and the HUD VAWA Self-certification Form (HUD-5382), when an applicant is denied admission, when an applicant is admitted to the program, and when a notice of eviction or termination of assistance is provided to a tenant. These forms, which are available in 15 languages on HUD's website, can also be provided to tenants at recertifications and other times.
  • Accept a verbal request for protection under VAWA. If you choose to require written certification or other documentation, make your request in the form of a written dated letter and make sure to share HUD Self-certification Form (HUD- 5382 ). You must give 14 business days for a response.
  • Create and implement a transparent and operational VAWA emergency transfer plan.
  • Work with other housing providers to find alternative, safe housing for survivors who must leave their units for safety reasons.
  • Allow survivors to bifurcate their leases to remove perpetrators from the leases and units.




How can HFAs help VAWA survivors?


Implement best practices for survivors, including the creation of LIHTC units targeting this population and ensuring the full implementation of VAWA in your program. For more information, see:





What is DV, SA, Stalking & Dating Violence?