HUD Issues Final Rule on Housing Protections for Survivors of Domestic Violence AND MORE

HUD Issues Final Rule on Housing Protections for Survivors of Domestic Violence
Rule ensures covered housing providers do not deny tenancy or occupancy rights based solely on adverse factors that are a direct result of being a survivor

On October 24, 2016, HUD published final regulations implementing housing protections included in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). The final rule includes core protections across HUD programs covered by VAWA that ensure individuals are not denied assistance, evicted or have their assistance terminated because of their status as survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, or for being affiliated with a victim.  The 2013 reauthorization expanded VAWA beyond public housing and vouchers to a number of other HUD programs, including the HOME Investment Partnerships program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) and McKinney-Vento Homeless programs. The national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), however, was not included as a "covered housing program" in the legislation. After considering Congress's intent to expand VAWA protections to all HUD programs that provide rental assistance, HUD included the HTF as a covered program in the final rule.  The rule also finalizes requirements regarding notification to tenants and applicants of their rights and protections under VAWA and makes it clear that, under most circumstances, a survivor will be able to self-certify their status to exercise their VAWA rights, meaning they will not have to present third-party documentation. VAWA required HUD to develop a model emergency transfer plan for housing providers, which is included in the final rule. The plan explains how housing providers must address tenants' requests for emergency transfers when they fear for their life or safety in their current rental units. HUD addressed concerns raised by advocates regarding the negative economic and criminal consequences often experienced by survivors of domestic violence.  Survivors often have their credit or rental history ruined by their perpetrators, or are forced to participate in criminal activity or are arrested for being part of a domestic disturbance. The final rule ensures covered housing providers do not deny tenancy or occupancy rights based solely on these adverse factors that are a direct result of being a survivor. Read the final rule at: Note: CDBG is not subject to this rule.

HUD Releases New Data on Homelessness
Key findings from new HMIS Data Available

HUD released The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress: Part 2 - Estimates of Homelessness in the United States on October 26. The report expands upon the findings presented in The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress: Part 1 by adding one-year estimates of the sheltered homeless population collected through Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS). HMIS data provide demographics, service use statistics, and unduplicated counts of the sheltered homeless population, those who access emergency shelter, transitional housing programs, or permanent supportive housing (PSH) during a given year. Some key findings from the new HMIS data include:
  • Approximately 1.48 million people experienced sheltered homelessness at some point during the reporting year, representing a 7% decline from 2007.
  • 502,521 people who experienced sheltered homelessness were part of a family with children, representing a 3% decline from 2014, but an increase of 6% from 2007. They accounted for 154,380 households.
  • Approximately 21% of adults experiencing sheltered homelessness as part of a family with children have a disability.
  • An estimated 987,239 individuals (not part of a family with children) experienced sheltered homelessness, representing a 12% decline from 2007.
  • The share of sheltered individuals with a disability was 45%.
  • Individuals experiencing sheltered homelessness declined in cities by 16% since 2007, but has increased by 7% in suburban and rural areas.
  • 132,847 veterans experienced sheltered homelessness, an 11% decrease from 2009.


From National Low Income Housing Coalition

Follow-Up Family Options Study: Long-Term Housing Subsidies Are Most Effective Intervention for Homeless Families
HUD's Family Options Study documents how long-term housing subsidies, primarily Housing Choice Vouchers, remain the most effective intervention for homeless families as compared to community-based rapid rehousing and project-based transitional housing. The benefits of long-term housing subsidies extend beyond housing stability to other areas of well-being. The study analyzed the impacts and costs of three distinct interventions for addressing homelessness. Families in the study were randomly assigned priority access to one of three interventions after spending at least seven days in emergency shelters. Each intervention was compared to the "usual care" in the community.  In their summary of the study's findings, HUD conclude that "having priority access to deep long-term housing subsidies produces substantial benefits for families" and "for most families, homelessness is a housing affordability problem that can be remedied with long-term housing subsidies without specialized services." Read the entire report at:

National Housing Conference to Host Webinar on Paycheck to Paycheck

From the MacArthur Foundation

Recommendations Emerge from How Housing Matters Gathering
MacArthur, the Polk Bros. Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, and the Wieboldt Foundation gathered a group of funders, practitioners, and policymakers in Chicago to discuss the intersection of housing and the health, education, and criminal justice sectors. The result was a white paper report on recommendations for how access to decent, stable, affordable housing can improve outcomes in other areas of life for individuals, families, and communities. Learn more at

From the Urban Institute

The Future of Rural Housing
The Urban Institute has released a report projecting future trends of rural housing in America. Rural America covers nearly 75% of US land area and is home to 15 percent of the US population.  The report discussed how as urban America has grown, rural America has lagged. Poverty rates for adults and children have remained higher in rural areas, and many rural communities have struggled economically for decades. The report looks to the future of rural counties, extending recent demographic trends to portray demand for housing as rural America's residents grow older and see only modest population increases. We project the following trends. Learn more at:

From the HUD Daily Report
The US Census recently issued its report on household incomes in 2015. The new statistics reveal a decrease in the poverty rate from 14.8 percent in 2014 to 13.5 percent in 2015. While showing signs of economic recovery, this figure still exceeded the poverty rate in 2008, the year the Great Recession began. Additionally, median household income rose 5.2 percent, the largest one-year increase since 1967.  Learn more at

New York Times Reports: U.S. Census Reports Poverty in Unexpected Places
According to Census data that take into account the costs of living in each state and the role of federal aid in coping with those costs, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, at 20.6 percent of the population, compared with 17.9 percent for Louisiana, 17 percent for Mississippi and 16.8 percent for Georgia. Over all, the West, with an alternative poverty rate of 15.7 percent, is virtually tied with the South, at 15.4 percent. That does not mean poverty in California and the West is as grim as in Mississippi and the South. Southern poverty is associated with greater material hardships than are experienced elsewhere, including hunger.  The high alternative poverty rate in the West is driven largely by rising rents in California. As rent increases have steadily outpaced wage growth in the last several years, housing costs as a share of total family income have swelled to more than 50 percent for nearly 30 percent of Californians. The results are overcrowding, bad housing, the inability to afford other essentials, frequent evictions and other features of poverty. Similar dynamics are at work elsewhere, notably in Hawaii, New York and Washington, D.C. In effect, high and rising incomes at the top of the economic ladder are impoverishing those with modest pay who are clinging to the lower rungs. Read the article at

Housing Wire Reports: 2.5 million Consumers Hit by Financial Crisis Ready to Reenter Housing
According to Experian's latest analysis, foreclosures, short sales and bankruptcies remain on a credit report for seven years, which means these items are due to fall off the credit files of 2.5 million consumers between June 2016 and June 2017. Even better for the housing market, the analysis shows that 68% of these consumers are scoring in the near-prime or higher credit segments, meaning the opportunity for this group to qualify for mortgage loans is growing. The new Experian study looks at these potential borrowers and analyzes the consumers who foreclosed or short-sold between 2007 and 2010 and have since opened a new mortgage. The study refers to these consumers as "Boomerang borrowers" and shows that they have responsible credit behaviors and improving credit scores.  The study also found that the people in the short-sale category are rebounding at a higher rate than those who foreclosed, and are making their payments on time. See the study at