The National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) and the National Housing Law Project co-presented this webinar on the legal rights of immigrant survivors to access federally funded housing. For many survivors of domestic and sexual violence, the ability to secure decent, safe, and affordable housing is critical to long-term survival. Yet, immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, human trafficking and other crimes often face obstacles in accessing federally subsidized housing and services that protect life or safety because of providers’ misunderstandings about immigration immigrant survivors’ eligibility. Emergency shelter and transitional housing programs are open to all survivors and immigrant homeless. Public and assisted housing is legally available to limited categories group of immigrant survivors. For many survivors, the ability to secure decent, safe, and affordable housing is critical to long-term survival. Yet, immigrant survivors often face obstacles in accessing federally subsidized housing and services that protect life or safety because of providers’ misunderstandings about immigration requirements for program participants.
This webinar provides an overview of the rights of immigrant survivors to access federally funded housing programs, such as programs funded by HUD and USDA Rural Development. It includes a discussion of recent HUD authority confirming the rights of VAWA self-petitioners to access public and assisted housing and discusses the newly created computer verification system developed jointly by DHS and HUD for VAWA self-petitioner verification. Finally the webinar discusses the joint statements issued by HUD, HHS and DOJ restating and reconfirming the rights of survivors, regardless of their immigration status, to access emergency shelters and transitional housing that receive federal funds.
Training materials and Power Point
- NHLP & NIWAP, PowerPoint Slides for Webinar: Immigrant Access to Federally Assisted Housing (Feb. 22, 2017)
Full training materials packet
- Joint Agency Letter On Shelters and Transitional Housing (Web Page August 12, 2016)
- DOJ/HHS/HUD Joint Letter on Immigrant Access to Federally Funded Services Necessary to Protect Life or Safety (Aug. 5, 2016)
- HUD, SNAPS, The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 and HUD’s Homeless Assistance Programs (Aug. 16, 2016)
- NIWAP, Brochure for Transitional Housing
- NIWAP, Fact Sheet: Immigrant Access to Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing (Oct.23, 2016)
Public and Assisted Housing
- Access to Public and Assisted Housing VAWA Self-Petitioners (January 26, 2017)
- HUD, Memo for Secretary Julian Castro from Tonya Robinson, Acting General Counsel re: Eligibility of Battered Noncitizen Self-Petitioners for Financial Assistance Under Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 (Dec. 15, 2016)
- HUD, Notice PIH 2017-02 (HA), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioner Verification Procedures (Jan. 19, 2017)
- NHLP, Memo: HUD Housing Covered by Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act
- NHLP, Chart on Federally Assisted Housing and Immigrant Eligibility (Feb. 2017)
- NIWAP, How to Advocate for Public and Assisted Housing for Your Battered Immigrant or Trafficking Survivor Client (Feb. 8, 2017)
- NIWAP & Legal Momentum, HUD Programs and Immigrant Eligibility, Chapter 16.2 (Feb. 8, 2017)
- Public Benefits Map
Description: This document details the range of behaviors that would constitute “battery or extreme cruelty” used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and draws examples from decisions state court judges deemed abusive/domestic violence in granting civil protection orders and determining of family violence in family law cases.
Description: Produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security covering Violence Against Women Act self-petitions, U visas and T visas. Information on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has been added by the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project, American University, Washington College of Law. Downloadable one page (two sided brochure) available in English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, and Chinese.
- Federal Preemption of State Laws That Attempt to Restrict Immigrant Access to Services Necessary to Protect Life and Safety
Description: Although the power to regulate immigration and enact immigration laws rests exclusively with the federal government, some state laws and local ordinances have been enacted to involve state and local officials in immigration enforcement and to cut off access to programs, benefits, and services to non-citizens including undocumented immigrants. This article discusses federal preemption of state laws that attempt to restrict immigrant access to services that have been deemed by the Attorney General of the United States to be necessary for the protection of life and safety.
Description: Infographic produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security providing an overview of crime victim based legal protections for adult and child immigrant victims. This infographic covers immigration relief for victims who suffer victimization in the U.S. and/or abroad. The forms of relief covered are: VAWA self-petition, U visa, T visa, Continued Presence, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and Asylum. The infographic contains links to DHS websites containing additional government produced training materials and information on these programs, application forms and instructions.