The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors A State and Local Law Compendium

Date: 
07/25/2018
Author: 
National Housing Law Project

The resource, updated annually, is a compilation of state and local laws that impact the housing rights of domestic violence survivors. These laws often provide critical housing protections for survivors that are not otherwise available.

This edition covers state and local laws enacted as of December 2017. Newly reformatted, this version of the Compendium features live links in the table of contents.

Our review in 2017 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;
* 7 states allow for lease bifurcation;
* 15 states have laws protecting survivor-tenants’ right to call police, law enforcement, or for emergency assistance;
* 40 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;
* 44 states and localities have laws pertaining to confidentiality of housing records and documentation of survivors, or have an address confidentiality program.


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