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NAHMA HUD Update: HUD Publishes Final Rule on Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA): Implementation in HUD Housing Programs

Today, HUD's VAWA Final Rule was published in Federal Register. The final rule is attached and available on the NAHMA website here.

As stated in the regulation, “These regulations are effective on 
December 16, 2016. Compliance with the rule with respect to completing an emergency transfer plan and providing emergency transfers, and associated recordkeeping and reporting requirements, is required no later than May 15, 2017.”

Background
On March 7, 2013, President Obama signed The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) into law. VAWA 2013 expanded the housing protections to survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, across all HUD's programs. HUD issued a proposed VAWA rule in April 2015. NAHMA responded to the proposed rule with member comments and joined with industry colleagues to provide unified industry comments.  Both are available to view here. HUD has reviewed all public comments and issued VAWA final rule. We are preparing a NAHMA Analysis on the VAWA Final Rule for members.    
 
On pg. 2, HUD noted the major provisions of the VAWA Final Rule include:
  •          Specifying ‘‘sexual assault'' as a crime covered by VAWA in HUD covered programs.
  • Establishing a definition for ‘‘affiliated individual'' based on the statutory definition and that is usable and workable for HUD-covered programs.
  • Applying VAWA protections to all covered HUD programs as well as the Housing Trust Fund, which was not statutorily listed as a covered program.
  • Ensuring that existing tenants, as well as new tenants, of all HUD-covered programs receive notification of their rights under VAWA and HUD's VAWA regulations.
  • Establishing reasonable time periods during which a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking may establish eligibility to remain in housing, where the tenant's household is divided due to a VAWA crime, and where the tenant was not the member of the household that previously established eligibility for assistance.
  • Establishing that housing providers may, but are not required to, request certain documentation from tenants seeking emergency transfers under VAWA.
  • Providing for a six-month transition period to complete an emergency transfer plan and provide emergency transfers, when requested, under the plan.
  • Revising and establishing new program-specific regulations for implementing VAWA protections in a manner that is workable for each HUD covered program.
  • Please refer to section II of this preamble, entitled ‘‘This Final Rule'' for a more detailed discussion of all the changes made to HUD's existing regulations by this rule. In developing this rule, HUD identified outdated terminology in its regulations (for example, the use of the term ‘‘alcohol abuser'' in part 982). HUD will be issuing a future rule to update and correct such terms.
 
Also, included in the Appendix of the rule is the following:
Appendix A (pg.96-97)  -  Notice of Occupancy Rights Under the VAWA
Appendix B (pg. 97-98) -  Model Emergency Transfer Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking
Appendix C (pg.99-100) – Form for Certification Of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Or Stalking, And Alternate Documentation
Appendix D (pg. 101-102) – Form for Emergency Transfer Request for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Or Stalking
 
Thanks,
Larry
 
Larry Keys, Director of Government Affairs
National Affordable Housing Management Association
400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703-683-8630, ext.111 Email lkeys@nahma.org, Website www.nahma.org
NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing.

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