NHLP Releases Compendium of State and Local Laws Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors

NHLP Releases Compendium of State and Local Laws Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) has released the 2016 edition of Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors: A State and Local Law Compendium. It contains state and local laws that provide safeguards for domestic violence survivors who seek to obtain or maintain housing. The updated compendium includes laws enacted as of October 2016.

Since they’ve began publishing this compendium in 2010, they’ve seen a major increase in state and local jurisdictions enacting and implementing a variety of housing protections for survivors. These laws are often the result of efforts by domestic violence and housing advocacy communities to address obstacles that survivors face in accessing and maintaining housing. Their review this year shows that:

  • 24 states and localities have eviction defense laws for survivors;
  • 27 states have early lease termination laws for survivors;
  • 18 states have lock change laws for survivors;
  • 8 states allow lease bifurcations for survivors;
  • 14 states have laws protecting survivor-tenants’ right to call police, law enforcement, or for emergency assistance;
  • 37 states permit courts to exclude the abuser from the housing and grant the possession of the property to the survivor;
  • 18 states can require abusers to pay for or provide housing for survivors;
  • 11 states impose liability on the abuser for damages to the unit, lock changes, moving expenses, and other housing costs related to the violence;
  • 5 states provide relocation assistance or a right to emergency shelter for survivors; and
  • 43 states and localities have laws pertaining to confidentiality of housing records and documentation of survivors, or have an address confidentiality program.

The compendium is available here