HUD Issues Certification Form 91066 and Lease Addendum for VAWA

October 7, 2009
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Project-based Section 8 owners and managers now have a form they can use to ask residents to certify if they are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. The Violence Against Women and Justice Department Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA) protects qualified residents and families who are victims of domestic violence or staking from being evicted from their units. According to VAWA, domestic or dating violence or stalking is not good cause for terminating the assistance, tenancy, or occupancy rights of the victim or the victim’s immediate family members. However, the site owner or manager can ask the victim to provide alternate documentation or the new certification HUD Form-91066 as proof.

Alternate documentation, according to Form 91066, “Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking,” includes: (1) a federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local police or court record; or (2) documentation signed by an employee, agent, or volunteer of a victim service provider, an attorney or medical professional, from who the victim has sought assistance in addressing the violence or stalking, or the effects of abuse, in which the professional attests under penalty of perjury to his belief that the incident(s) in question are bona fide incidents of abuse, and the victim has signed or attested to the documentation.

Form 91066 or other supporting documentation should be submitted within 14 business days of the request, or any extension date allowed by the site owner or manager. If the certification or supporting documentation is not provided within the specified timeframe, the site owner may begin eviction proceedings.

Although VAWA also says that criminal activity directly related to domestic or dating violence or stalking is not considered grounds for terminating the victim’s tenancy, owners or managers may bifurcate (divide) a lease in order to evict, remove, or terminate the assistance of the offender while allowing the victim, who is a tenant or lawful occupant, to remain in the unit.

PRACTICAL POINTER: HUD warns site owners and managers that the eviction or termination of any household member, even an abusive individual, must be accordance with federal, state, and local law.

If one household member is eventually removed from the unit because of engaging in acts of domestic violence, the owner or site manager should do an interim recertification to reflect the change in household composition. (See HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1, Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs, Chapter 7, Section 2 for processing interim recertifications.)

The HUD-approved lease addendum (Form HUD-91067) revises the lease to reflect the statutory requirements of the VAWA that are related to project-based Section 8 assistance programs. Owners and managers must provide a copy of the addendum to new residents and existing residents.

For questions relating to Notice H 09-15, issued October 1, 2009, contact the Multifamily Housing Assistance Policy Division at (202) 708-3000.