On February 2, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation (S. 1925) to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which included a number of housing provisions that dated back to the Act’s previous reauthorization in 2006.
Of interest to owners of federally-assisted properties NMHC/NAA worked with a coalition of housing providers to include language allowing property owners and managers who receive "conflicting information" about a domestic violence incident to require third-party verification before extending benefits under the Act. This action restored an important protection for housing providers that was included in the original law but then lost during the regulatory proces.
The bill also expanded VAWA’s existing provisions so it would apply to additional housing programs, including which now include Section 8 voucher and project-based programs, low-income housing tax credit properties and a variety of elderly, disabled and rural housing programs, and it added notification and emergency transfer requirements. While NMHC/NAA and others in the real estate industry supported S. 1925, we will continue to press for additional amendments to streamline the notification and emergency transfer provisions.
It is unclear when the full Senate will take up the measure.