Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Qualifying for Assistance

A Public Housing Agency (PHA), owner or landlord may not deny admission to an applicant (male or female) who has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking if the applicant otherwise qualifies for assistance or admission. This applies to all tenants, not just those on Section 8.

To qualify for housing choice voucher assistance, all applicants, including victims of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, must, at a minimum:

  • Meet the PHA’s definition of “family”
  • Be income eligible
  • Have at least one family member who is a U.S. citizen or has eligible immigration status
  • Pass criminal background screening
  • Have no outstanding debt to the PHA
  • Meet all other local PHA screening criteria

Public Housing Agency's Authority

Reporting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking to law enforcement, victim’s rights advocates, and the PHA may help preserve your housing rights. The PHA may not deny, remove or terminate assistance to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking based solely on such an incident or threat.

The PHA, an owner or landlord may deny, remove, or terminate assistance to an individual perpetrator of such actions and continue to allow the victim or other household members to remain in the dwelling unit or receive housing assistance. This does not limit the authority of the PHA, owner or landlord to terminate your assistance for other criminal activity or good cause.

Portability & Further Assistance

A Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Participant who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking may request and be granted portability due to the incident or threat if they are otherwise compliant with all program obligations and the perpetrator has moved out of the dwelling unit.

In processing a request by a victim for continued assistance or for portability, the PHA may request that you certify that you are a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, and that the actual or threatened abuse meets the requirements set forth in the VAWA. Such certification must include the name of the perpetrator. If you do not provide the requested certification within 14 business days, your assistance may be terminated.

Information about the Violence Against Women Act

Any information provided pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) shall neither be entered into any shared database nor provided to any related entity, except to the extent that disclosure is requested or consented to by the individual in writing; required for use in an eviction proceeding of an abuser, stalker or perpetrator of domestic violence; or is otherwise required by applicable law.

For more information on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-safe (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or visit their website
  • Call the HUD housing discrimination hotline 1-800-669-9777
  • Call Fair Housing Napa Valley at 707-224-9720 or visit their website
  • Call Nurturing Empowerment Worth Safety 707-255-6397 or  visit their website