Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects tenants and family members of tenants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking from being evicted or terminated from housing assistance based on acts of such violence against them. These provisions apply both to public housing agencies administering the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation and to owners renting to families under these rental assistance programs.

To all Tenants and Applicants

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. VAWA protections are not only available to women, but are available equally to all individuals regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the Federal agency that oversees that the Housing Authority of Prince George’s County (HAPGC) is in compliance with VAWA. This notice explains your rights under VAWA. A HUD-approved certification form is attached to this notice. You can fill out this form to show that you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and that you wish to use your rights under VAWA.”

Protections for Applicants



If you otherwise qualify for assistance under HAPGC you cannot be denied admission or denied assistance because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

Protections for Tenants



If you are receiving assistance under HAPGC, you may not be denied assistance, terminated from participation, or be evicted from your rental housing because you are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

Also, if you or an affiliated individual of yours is or has been the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking by a member of your household or any guest, you may not be denied rental assistance or occupancy rights under HAPGC solely on the basis of criminal activity directly relating to that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Affiliated individual means your spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child, or a person to whom you stand in the place of a parent or guardian (for example, the affiliated individual is in your care, custody, or control); or any individual, tenant, or lawful occupant living in your household on the program.

Removing the Abuser or Perpetrator from the Household



If HAPGC chooses to remove the abuser or perpetrator, HAPGC may not take away the rights of eligible tenants to the unit or otherwise punish the remaining tenants. If the evicted abuser or perpetrator was the sole tenant to have established eligibility for assistance under the program, HAPGC must allow the tenant who is or has been a victim and other household members to remain in the unit for a period of time, in order to establish eligibility under the program or under another HUD housing program covered by VAWA, or, find alternative housing.

The Landlord may divide (bifurcate) your lease in order to evict the individual or terminate the assistance of the individual who has engaged in criminal activity (the abuser or perpetrator) directly relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

If Landlord chooses to remove the abuser or perpetrator, HAPGC may not take away the rights of eligible tenants to the unit or otherwise punish the remaining tenants. If the evicted abuser or perpetrator was the sole tenant to have established eligibility for assistance under the program, HAPGC must allow the tenant who is or has been a victim and other household members to remain in the unit for a period of time, in order to establish eligibility under the program or under another HUD housing program covered by VAWA, or, find alternative housing. 

In removing the abuser or perpetrator from the household, HAPGC must follow Federal, State, and local eviction procedures. In order to divide a lease, HAPGC may, but is not required to, ask you for documentation or certification of the incidences of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Refer to form 5380 & 5382 below.

VAWA Emergency Transfers

The Housing Authority of Prince George’s County (HAPGC) is concerned about the safety of its participants, and such concern extends to participants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  In accordance with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), HAPGC allows participants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to request an emergency transfer from the participant’s current unit to another unit.  The ability to request a transfer is available regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The ability of HAPGC to honor such request for participants currently receiving assistance, however, may depend upon a preliminary determination that the participant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  

The plan identifies participants who are eligible for a VAWA emergency transfer, the documentation needed to request an emergency transfer, confidentiality protections, how an emergency transfer may occur, and guidance to participants on safety and security.  Refer to form 5381 & 5383 below:

Forms

 

For Additional Information



You may view a copy of HUD’s final VAWA rule at www.federalregister.gov.

Additionally, HAPGC must make a copy of HUD’s VAWA regulations available to you if you ask to see them. For questions regarding VAWA, you can also contact your Rental Specialist.

For help regarding an abusive relationship, you may call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or, for persons with hearing impairments, 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). 

You may also contact:

• Baxter Center - offers legal assistance and counseling (301) 952-3797

For tenants who are or have been victims of stalking seeking help may visit the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Stalking Resource Center at https://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center.

For help regarding sexual assault, you may contact Prince George's County Hospital Center Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center at 301-618-3154.

Victims of stalking seeking help may contact Prince George's County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit at 301-780-8408.

VAWA forms can be obtained by requesting it from your Rental Specialist, visiting the Housing Authority offices or online at ha.mypgc.us under Tenant Resources.
 

Local organizations offering assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Name Phone
1. Emergency Assistance 911
2. Resource Information 211
3. Family Crisis Center of Prince George's County 301-731-1203
4. Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence 800-MDHELPS
​(800-634-3577)
5. Prince George's County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence Unit 301-780-8408
6. Prince George's County Police Dept. Domestic Violence Unit 301-772-4433
7. Prince George's County Hospital Center Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center 301-618-3154
8. Still I Rise, Inc. 301-868-4903
9. House of Ruth (24-Hour Hotline) 410-889-RUTH
​(410-889-7884)
10. Community Advocates for Family and Youth (CAFY) 301-390-4902
11. Prince George's County Health Dept. Domestic Violence Coordinator 301-883-7873
12. Department of Family Services Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Division 301-248-0617
13. Courtney's House 301-870-8008
14. Turnaround, Inc. 410-377-8111
15. The Walbert 410-837-7000