Senators Introduce Legislation Expanding VAWA Protections

Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) recently reintroduced legislation called the “Fair Housing for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors Act.” It builds on the protections provided under the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by establishing “a nationwide standard that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault cannot be evicted or denied access to housing solely for being victims of those crimes.” In other words, the legislation, if passed, would ensure that legal protections for domestic violence and sexual assault victims apply broadly across the housing market.

With the new protections in this legislation, HUD and the Department of Justice would have clear and direct authority to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault from housing discrimination. The bill’s language also serves as a model for states to adopt their own protections.