Domestic Violence Victims Have Housing Rights
Did you know?
- Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children.
- Domestic violence victims are discriminated against when they seek housing.
- Some landlords still wrongly believe that domestic violence is the victim’s fault.
- Some landlords wrongly evict victims for damage, disturbing neighbors, calling 911, and even because they were assaulted.
Vermont law provides protections for victims. Both Federal and Vermont laws protect victims’ housing rights.
Are you a victim or survivor of domestic violence?
Did your landlord evict you or charge you for damage your abuser did?
Did a landlord refuse to rent to you because you are a victim or survivor?
Did a landlord treat you unfairly because you are a victim or survivor?
You have rights!
How Vermont Legal Aid Can Help
Donna's boyfriend assaulted her, and she called the police. Her landlord began an eviction, and she was told she would have to move from her Section 8 housing. Donna called Vermont Legal Aid.
We represented Donna. The court granted her a final Relief from Abuse order that made Donna’s ex move out and stay away. We also got her Section 8 back and her landlord agreed not to evict her.
Donna didn’t feel at home where her ex had abused her. She began looking for a new place. A landlord asked her why she was moving. Donna explained, and the landlord refused to rent to her, because he thought her ex would come and assault her. She finally found a public housing apartment. Two months later, her ex found her, broke in, and attacked her. Donna called the police, and the police arrested her assaulter.
Donna was afraid. She asked the housing authority to let her change buildings. They refused. They also charged her for the damage her ex had done and began to evict her.
We represented Donna again. Donna kept her subsidized housing; she wasn’t charged for the damage her ex had done. The housing authority agreed to add more outside lights and to give Donna a better door and lock. Donna felt safer and decided not to move.
(Donna is not the real name of a client that we represented.)
Domestic violence discrimination seriously harms the people who are discriminated against and made to feel unwelcome. But domestic violence discrimination affects everyone. It keeps us from living in diverse, inclusive communities.