VAWA Regulation Supplements Final Rule

Regulation | August 15, 2017 | by Colleen Bloom

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Notice H 2017-5 provides supplemental Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) guidance to Multifamily owners and management agents.  An achived series of HUD webinars provide owner and oversight perspectives.


On June 30, HUD posted Notice H 2017-05 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2013 – Additional Guidance for Multifamily Owners and Management Agents. This 44-page notice provides guidance to owners and management agents (O/As) of HUD multifamily assisted housing on the requirements of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: Implementation in HUD Housing Programs, Final Rule. As indicated by HUD, this notice does not encompass every aspect of the VAWA Final Rule and should be used in conjunction with the VAWA Final Rule. This notice, however, supersedes earlier Housing Notices H 2010-23 and H 2009-15.

Some features of the notice include:

  • New definitions
  • New notice requirements
  • Provides model notice and model transfer plan
  • Revises documentation requirements
  • Establishes a new requirement for reasonable time for victim to establish program eligibility or find alternate housing
  • Clarifies owner/agent right to create a VAWA related preference

For Multifamily Housing programs, this notice provides guidance on:

  • Continuation of the core protections across all multifamily housing programs, ensuring survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking are not denied assistance as an applicant; are not evicted or have assistance terminated due to having been a victim, or for being affiliated with a victim.
  • Emergency transfers – It is imperative that owners modify the model policy.  In July, HUD advised that it will instruct MOR reviewers to provide an observation between now and December 14, 2017 if a project does not have (or has an inadequate) VAWA Emergency Transfer Plan. After that date, an MOR reiview should issue a finding for a lack of or an inadequate Emergency transfer Plan." The Notice provides more detailed guidance on developing an emergency transfer plan and facilitating internal and external emergency transfers. 
  • Protections against adverse effects of abuse – Domestic violence can often have negative economic consequences on a survivor, such as poor credit and/or rental history. The Notice discusses how owners and agents (O/As) should take such adverse factors into consideration to avoid denying tenancy or occupancy rights based solely on adverse factors resulting from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Documentation and timing The Notice provides details on types of documentation that may be required to request VAWA protections and emergency transfers, as well as the certification option that may minimize possible barriers to obtaining third-party documentation. The Notice also discusses reasonable timeframes for applicants or tenants to provide requested documentation and establishes a new requirement for reasonable time periods during which a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking may remain in the unit while establishing eligibility under the current housing program or under another covered housing program, or seeking alternate housing.

    NOTE: Translated VAWA forms HUD-5380, 5381, 5382, and 5383 are posted on HUDclips. HUD advises that VAWA documents that expired June 30 can continue to be used until replaced. (Minor changes to these documents are expected to be announced shortly for a 60-day comment period.) And the Office of Multifamily Housing will soon issue an updated form HUD-91067, “VAWA Lease Addendum”, which will include the additional provisions required in the final rule. Once provided, all O/As will be required to use this updated form when providing or modifying a lease.

The notice also clarifies that owners/agents may establish a preference for victims of dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, in addition to domestic violence.

Watch Live Training Webcasts

Archived Multifamily Housing VAWA broadcasts can now be watched on YouTube –

Both the August 1 and July 26 training slides are available here.

VAWA FAQs are being drafted and will be provided soon. Send HUD your questions.