NAHMA Rural Housing Update: USDA releases administrative notice on VAWA implementation

January 27, 2017

USDA has released an Administrative Notice on the implementation of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act in Rural Development’s Multi-Family Housing Program.

VAWA 2013 provides legal rights and protections for applicants and tenants who are actual or threatened victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as well as members of their household.  These legal rights and protections include protection for victims from being denied admission to, denied assistance under, terminated from participation, or evicted from certain covered housing programs if the applicant or tenant otherwise qualifies for admission, assistance, participation, or occupancy.

The Rural Development (RD) Multi-Family Housing (MFH) programs affected by the VAWA 2013 are Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (RRH), Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing (FLH), Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH), and Section 533 Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) programs (referred collectively as MFH Programs).  

RD’s implementation and policies shall follow those outlined in this Notice, and in the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Final Rule, dated November 16, 2016, (80724 FR Vol. 81, No. 221). RD’s definitions pertaining to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 shall be as defined by HUD under 24 CFR part 5.2003.

HUD has provided the following documents, which may be used by RD’s Borrowers and Management Agents: 

  • Notice of Occupancy Rights;
  • Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking and Alternate Documentation Form;
  • Model Emergency Transfer Plan;
  • Emergency Transfer Request for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking; and
  • VAWA Model Lease Addendum.

To read USDA’s Administrative Notice for implementing VAWA, click here. For more information about HUD’s VAWA guidance and to access the above-mentioned documents, please click here.