HUD Posts Model Forms for VAWA Compliance
HUD’s final rule implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 was published in November 2016. The final rule details the requirements for HUD-covered programs and became effective on Dec. 16, 2016.
VAWA 2013 maintains protections for public housing, Section 8 vouchers, and project-based Section 8, and also expands the housing protections from VAWA 2005 to include the following programs (which includes HUD’s Homeless Assistance programs):
- HOME Investment Partnerships program;
- Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly;
- Section 236 Rental Program;
- Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities;
- Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) program;
- HOPWA housing program;
- HUD’s McKinney-Vento homeless programs;
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties; and
- USDA Rural Housing properties.
To assist owners in complying with VAWA requirements, the Multifamily Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project (RHIIP) has created Microsoft Word and PDF fillable files for the four model forms included in the final rule.
According to HUD, these forms can be customized for your site as long as they contain the same information and language. The final rule requires that the Notice of Occupancy Rights and accompanying certification form be provided at the following times:
- At admission to a covered program;
- At rejection from a covered program;
- Within one year for all existing residents; and
- At time of notification of termination of tenancy or termination of assistance for all current residents.
This means, in part, that by Dec. 15, 2017, owners must give each household the notice of occupancy rights and the certification form either during the annual recertification or lease renewal process. Also, from Dec. 16, 2016, owners must provide the Notification of Occupancy Rights and Certification form with any notification of eviction or termination of assistance and to applicants when assistance is being denied or at the time the new household moves into the site. The forms do not have to be provided to every applicant on a site’s waiting list.
According to HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing, it will update its current VAWA certification form HUD-91066 for project-based Section 8 owners and managers, but in the meantime, these sites should use the new certification form HUD-5382 detailed below. Multifamily Housing also plans to update its Lease Addendum form HUD-91067. However, the Office of Multifamily Housing, at this time, according to RHIIP, does not plan to create its own emergency transfer plan and emergency transfer request forms, so owners should rely on the new HUD forms 5381 and 5383 detailed below.
Download Four Model Forms
The following are the VAWA forms recently listed on HUD.gov:
1. VAWA Appendix A: Notice of Occupancy Rights Under the Violence Against Women Act (Form HUD-5380). This form can be downloaded at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=5380.docx. This notice outlines a tenant’s VAWA protections and informs the tenant of the owner’s duty to maintain survivor-tenant confidentiality.
This notice also advises tenants that housing providers have the right to request third-party documentation in order to resolve conflicts in situations where the housing providers have received conflicting evidence such as certification forms from two or more members of a household each claiming to be a victim and naming one or more of the other petitioning household members as the abuser or perpetrator. It’s important to note HUD has clarified that it does not interpret VAWA 2013 as allowing for housing providers to request third-party documentation.
According to HUD, housing providers should speak to the victim to try to clarify any information the housing provider believes is not clear. In accordance with VAWA 2013, HUD declines to allow housing providers to require third-party documentation of an occurrence of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking in any situation except for those involving conflicting evidence.
2. VAWA Appendix B: Model Emergency Transfer Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (Form HUD-5381). This form can be downloaded at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=5381.docx. Owners are required to develop and implement an emergency transfer plan by June 14, 2017, and should use this form as a guide.
Under the final rule, the emergency transfer plan must allow for a tenant to transfer to a new unit when a safe unit is immediately available. The tenant would not have to apply in order to occupy the new unit. It also provides that emergency transfer plans must describe policies for helping tenants make emergency transfers when a safe unit is not immediately available, both in situations where a tenant would not have to apply in order to occupy the new unit, and where the tenant would have to apply in order to occupy the new unit.
The final rule also adds a provision that emergency transfer plans may require documentation, as long as tenants can establish eligibility for an emergency transfer by submitting a written certification to their housing provider. No other documentation is required for tenants who have established that they are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to verify eligibility for a transfer. In addition, owners are required to make emergency transfer plans available upon request, and to make them publicly available whenever feasible.
3. VAWA Appendix C: Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking and Alternate Documentation (Form HUD-5382). This form can be downloaded at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=5382.docx. This HUD-approved certification form may show that a tenant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and that the tenant wishes to use his or her rights under VAWA.
This form asks for the tenant’s name, the date, time, and location of the incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and a description of the incident. The certification form provides for including the name of the abuser or perpetrator if the name of the abuser or perpetrator is known and is safe to provide.
4. VAWA Appendix D: Emergency Transfer Request for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (Form HUD-5383). This form may be downloaded at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=5383.docx. Under VAWA, owners may require written requests for emergency transfers. Housing providers should explain in their emergency transfer plans whether they will require written requests for transfers, and, if so, whether a specific form will be required or any written request will suffice.
If a written request is required, this model form would help facilitate the submission and processing of a request. However, HUD encourages housing providers not to require written requests in exigent circumstances where an individual’s health or safety is at risk. Also, as explained previously, housing providers may not require third-party documentation in order for a tenant to be eligible for an emergency transfer.