Federal law protects rental assistance recipients who become victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking.
The law protects Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program participants who are victims of domestic violence from losing their rental assistance or being evicted from their rental home because of problems caused by an assailant or stalker.
The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) or the landlord may evict and end assistance to any participant who engages in domestic violence. This may be done without evicting or taking action against the perpetrator’s family members who live in the same unit.
The law – known as the Violence Against Women and the Department of Justice Reauthorization Act (VAWA) – is not an absolute or blanket protection. Participants who are victims of domestic violence may be subject to eviction and loss of rental assistance if they have committed other violations of their lease.
Participants who claim protection under VAWA are required to provide documentation of domestic violence by any of the following:
- A police report or court order
- A document signed by a professional counselor or case worker with whom the victim has sought assistance
- HUD approved form (50066)
Participants who fail to provide verification within 14 business days of the date requested will forfeit protections provided under VAWA.
Information provided about an incident or incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking shall be retained by SDHC in confidence and shall not be entered in any shared database nor provided to any related entity, except where disclosure is:
- Requested or consented to by the individual in writing, or
- Required for use in an eviction proceeding as permitted in VAWA, or
- Required by applicable law.