Survivors of domestic violence often face housing discrimination because of their history of the acts of their abusers. Congress has acknowledged “women and families across the country are being discriminated against, denied access to, and even evicted from public and subsidized housing because of their status as victims of domestic violence.” See link below. Housing authorities and landlords evict victims under zero-tolerance crime policies, citing the violence of a household member, guest, living or interacting with the victim. Often, the police are called repeatedly due to the domestic violence. As a result, the victim is evicted due to the repeated calls to police. Victims are also evicted because of property damage caused by their abusers. In many of these cases, adverse housing actions punish victims for the violence inflicted upon them. This “double victimization” is unfair and may be illegal.
Thanks to the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), tenants who live in public, Section 8 Tenant-Based or Project-Based assisted housing cannot be given lease violations or terminated from assistance, tenancy or occupancy because they are a victim of abuse. Nor can they be terminated from assistance, tenancy or occupancy, based on criminal activity directly relating to domestic violence, dating violence or stalking engaged in by a member of a tenant’s household, any guest or other person living or interacting with the victim if the tenant or immediate member of the tenant’s family is a victim of that domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
However, persons who do not live in federally funded housing such as public, Section 8 Tenant-Based or Project-Based are still protected under the Fair Housing Act based on the basis of sex.
For more information or help you can contact one of the resources below:
Intermountain Fair Housing Council
208-383-0695 or 1-800-717-0695
Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victims Assistance
LGBTQIA+ Fair Housing Toolkit