September 23, 2021 – “Housing Rights for Immigrant Survivors”

Summer Learning Series for Housing Advocates Sponsored by the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Housing Rights for Immigrant Survivors

Immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence who rent their homes face considerable barriers in obtaining and maintaining safe, decent, and affordable housing. Also although immigrant survivors are legally eligible for shelter and transitional housing without regard to their immigration status, many have difficulty accessing transitional housing. This training session will provide an overview of the housing rights of survivors under the Violence Against Women Act, including admissions and eviction protections for survivors, and how advocates can assert a survivor’s rights to VAWA’s housing protections.  The training will also outline immigrant survivor’s legal rights to access transitional housing and will describe how applying for survivor based forms of immigration relief increased access to public and assisted housing benefits with a particular emphasis on VAWA, T visa, continued presence and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) immigration relief.  The training will discuss the immigration requirements for public and assisted housing programs run by HUD and other federal housing programs, and will answer common questions regarding immigrants who are trying to access federal housing programs, such as eligibility of mixed-status families, and VAWA self-petitioner or T visa victim eligibility. Attendees will also learn how to use NIWAP’s on-line public benefits map and state charts to identify all of the public benefits and services any individual survivor is eligible for in Texas. Participants will have an opportunity to ask faculty members questions.

Training Materials/Resources

PowerPoint Presentation

List of Supporting Documents for the training

From NIWAP: If you are a victim advocate, attorney, judge, or other professional working with an immigrant victim and you would like to receive case specific technical assistance on access to publicly funded benefits and services that an immigrant crime victim or immigrant child would be eligible to receive in you state, please call NIWAP for technical assistance at (202) 274-4457 or email us at  You can also visit the public benefits section of NIWAP’s web library.

To receive updates, sign up for NIWAP’s outreach list. You can elect NIWAP’s general outreach list to receive notices of trainings, webinars, new materials, resources and policies. Judges, court staff, law enforcement and prosecutors can sign up for lists exclusively open to staff working at one of these government agencies.

From the National Housing Law Project (NHLP): We provide training and technical assistance to survivor advocates, with expertise regarding requirements for federally subsidized housing programs. For more information, please visit our website,, and contact Kate Walz ( or Renee Williams ( with training or technical assistance requests.

Public Benefits Interactive Maps and State Charts


Legal Rights Overviews and Brochures

Public Benefits and Services for Immigrant Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence Bench Cards

Overviews and Chapters, Multiple Benefits

CARES ACT and COVID-19 Related Resources Accessible to Immigrant Victims

Public Charge and Immigrant Victims

Only Certain Law Enforcement and Benefits Workers Under Limited Circumstances Are Required Under Federal Law to Report Immigrants to DHS

Housing – Shelter and Transitional Housing

Housing – Public and Assisted

Non-Work Social Security Numbers

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits

Low-Income Home Energy and Weatherization Assistance Programs

Legal Services Corporation Funded Assistance for Immigrant Victims

Child Care

Driver’s Licenses


Health Care

SNAP- Food Stamps