24 CFR § 576.409 - Protection for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

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§ 576.409 Protection for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(a) Applicability of VAWA protections. The core statutory protections of VAWA that prohibit denial or termination of assistance or eviction solely because an applicant or tenant is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking applied upon enactment of VAWA 2013 on March 7, 2013. The VAWA regulatory requirements under 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, as supplemented by this section, apply to all eligibility and termination decisions that are made with respect to ESG rental assistance on or after December 16, 2016. The recipient must ensure that the requirements under 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, are included or incorporated into rental assistance agreements and leases as provided in § 576.106(e) and (g).

(b) Covered housing provider. For the ESG program, “covered housing provider,” as such term is used in HUD's regulations in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, refers to:

(1) The recipient or subrecipient that administers the rental assistance for the purposes of 24 CFR 5.2005(e);

(2) The housing owner for the purposes of 24 CFR 5.2005(d)(1), (d)(3), and (d)(4) and 5.2009(a);

(3) The housing owner and the recipient or subrecipient that administers the rental assistance for the purposes of 24 CFR 5.2005(d)(2); and

(4) The housing owner and the recipient or subrecipient that administers the rental assistance for the purposes of 24 CFR 5.2007. However, the recipient or subrecipient may limit documentation requests under 24 CFR 5.2007 to only the recipient or subrecipient, provided that:

(i) This limitation is made clear in both the notice described under 24 CFR 5.2005(a)(1) and the rental assistance agreement;

(ii) The entity designated to receive documentation requests determines whether the program participant is entitled to protection under VAWA and immediately advise the program participant of the determination; and

(iii) If the program participant is entitled to protection, the entity designated to receive documentation requests must notify the owner in writing that the program participant is entitled to protection under VAWA and work with the owner on the program participant's behalf. Any further sharing or disclosure of the program participant's information will be subject to the requirements in 24 CFR 5.2007.

(c) Notification. As provided under 24 CFR 5.2005(a) each recipient or subrecipient that determines eligibility for or administers ESG rental assistance is responsible for ensuring that the notice and certification form described under 24 CFR 5.2005(a)(1) is provided to each applicant for ESG rental assistance and each program participant receiving ESG rental assistance at each of the following times:

(1) When an individual or family is denied ESG rental assistance;

(2) When an individual or family's application for a unit receiving project-based rental assistance is denied;

(3) When a program participant begins receiving ESG rental assistance;

(4) When a program participant is notified of termination of ESG rental assistance; and

(5) When a program participant receives notification of eviction.

(d) Emergency transfer plan.

(1) The recipient must develop the emergency transfer plan under 24 CFR 5.2005(e) or, if the recipient is a state, require its subrecipients that administer ESG rental assistance to develop the emergency transfer plan(s) required under 24 CFR 5.2005(e). If the state's sub recipients are required to develop the plan(s), the recipient must specify whether an emergency transfer plan is to be developed for:

(i) The state as a whole;

(ii) Each area within the state that is covered by a Continuum of Care; or

(iii) Each subrecipient that administers ESG rental assistance.

(2) Once the applicable plan is developed in accordance with this section, the recipient and each subrecipient that administers ESG rental assistance must implement the plan in accordance with 24 CFR 5.2005(e).

(3) Each emergency transfer plan must meet the requirements in 24 CFR 5.2005(e) and include the following program requirements:

(i) For families living in units receiving project-based rental assistance (assisted units), the required policies must provide that if a program participant qualifies for an emergency transfer, but a safe unit is not immediately available for an internal emergency transfer, that program participant shall have priority over all other applicants for tenant-based rental assistance, utility assistance, and units for which project-based rental assistance is provided.

(ii) For families receiving tenant-based rental assistance, the required policies must specify what will happen with respect to the non-transferring family member(s), if the family separates in order to effect an emergency transfer.

(e) Bifurcation. For the purposes of this part, the following requirements shall apply in place of the requirements at 24 CFR 5.2009(b):

(1) When a family receiving tenant-based rental assistance separates under 24 CFR 5.2009(a), the family's tenant-based rental assistance and utility assistance, if any, shall continue for the family member(s) who are not evicted or removed.

(2) If a family living in a unit receiving project-based rental assistance separates under 24 CFR 5.2009(a), the family member(s) who are not evicted or removed can remain in the assisted unit without interruption to the rental assistance or utility assistance provided for the unit.

(f) Emergency shelters. The following requirements apply to emergency shelters funded under § 576.102:

(1) No individual or family may be denied admission to or removed from the emergency shelter on the basis or as a direct result of the fact that the individual or family is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the individual or family otherwise qualifies for admission or occupancy.

(2) The terms “affiliated individual,” “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” “sexual assault,” and “stalking” are defined in 24 CFR 5.2003.

[81 FR 80808, Nov. 16, 2016]