Over the last six months, we have written several times about HUD’s Final Rule implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 that was effective December 16, 2016. The final rule impacts all HUD housing programs that fall under both the Office of Housing and the Office of Public and Indian Housing.
Traditionally, once a Final Rule is published in the Federal Register, each HUD office publishes a notice that clearly lays out the requirements for implementing the Final Rule. These notices are then used as regulatory guidance until the information is integrated into our handbooks/guidebooks, which may not occur for several years. Late last week, the Office of Housing published a 44-page notice (Notice H 2017-05) that provides Additional Guidance for Multifamily Owners and Management Agents.
It is important to note that this notice is only applicable to communities that fall under the Multifamily Housing programs. These are the programs that follow the regulations in HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1 and use the form HUD-50059 to conduct certifications. If you use the Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook – or the Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook – and use the form HUD-50058, this notice is not applicable to you.
Notice H 2017-05 does not add any additional requirements to the guidance in the Final Rule, but it does clarify several items including:
- How to handle VAWA situations when the victim of violence is a minor
- How to determine whether an adverse factor is a direct result of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking
- When you can require third-party verification of a victim’s status
- Future requirements for annual reporting
- Details on creating a VAWA preference for admission
- How non-compliance with the VAWA requirements will be recorded on a future MOR
We encourage you to download a copy of the notice using the link above and review it to ensure your VAWA policies and procedures meet the Office of Housing’s requirements.
We are currently updating our Complying with HUD Final Rule on VAWA Implementation webinar to include details from this notice. The next webinar is scheduled for July 27, 2017 at 2:00pm EDT.