NIWAP Survey Findings on Access to Public and Assisted Housing for VAWA Self-petitioners, their Children, and Trafficking Victims [pdf]

VAWA self-petitioners who are battered immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and victims of human trafficking with continued presence or T visas are “qualified aliens,” and thus they are legally eligible for public and assisted housing. Although, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is providing access to public and assisted housing for human trafficking victims, there has been an 18 year delay in HUD issuing policies and guidance to agencies and programs nationwide who administer public and assisted housing funds directing them that VAWA self-petitioners and their children are eligible to receive public and assisted housing. HUD’s failure to issue policies implementing 8 U.S.C. Section 1641(c) results in VAWA self-petitioners being precluded from accessing, or remaining and being subject to proration, in public and assisted housing units. As a result many battered immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are living in public housing with their abuser are forced to choose between staying in public or assisted housing with their abuser or risk homelessness for themselves and their children.