VAWA Occupancy Rights Notice
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. VAWA protections are not only available equally to all individuals regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the Federal agency that oversees that the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) is in compliance with VAWA. (HUD-5380)
Protections of Tenants
If you are receiving assistance under the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV), you may not be denied assistance, terminated from participation, or be evicted from your rental housing because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, as defined by HUD.
Protections of Applicants
If you are a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program applicant, you cannot be denied admission or denied assistance because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as defined by HUD.
Moving to Another Unit
Upon your request, CMHA may permit you to move to another unit and maintain your assistance. In order to approve a request, CMHA may ask you to provide documentation that you are requesting to move because of an incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. You will be required to certify that you meet the criteria for an emergency transfer under VAWA:
- You are a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- You expressly request the emergency transfer
- You reasonably believe you are threatened with imminent harm from further violence if you remain in the current unit OR
- You are a victim of sexual assault, and the assault occurs on the premises during the 90-calendar-day period before you request a transfer
Questions about VAWA can be emailed directly to the VAWA Coordination Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call CMHA
The VAWA Coordination Team assists residents receiving subsidy from CMHA who are victims of non-random crimes (i.e. domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking). In many cases, instances of community violence1 may not qualify for VAWA Protections.
1Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Community violence happens between unrelated individuals, who may or may not know each other, generally outside the home. Examples include assaults or fights among groups and shootings, such as schools and on the streets…” https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/communityviolence/index.html
Resources for Survivors
The Center for Family Safety and Healing
Franklin County Children Services Child Abuse Hotline (24/7)
Lutheran Social Services CHOICES for Domestic Violence Crisis Line
Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO)
Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office (Franklin County) Domestic Violence and Stalking Unit