Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services Establish $2.3 Million Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Initiative
The Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the launch of a federal Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium to better address the critical housing needs of victims of domestic violence and their children. The three federal agencies are awarding a total of $2.3 million in grant funding to four organizations who will form this national consortium in order to foster increased collaboration among domestic violence and homeless service providers and provide national training, technical assistance and resource development on domestic violence and housing.
“The limited availability of shelters and the difficulties in accessing safe, affordable housing options too often leave domestic violence survivors homeless, or send them back to abusive partners and unsafe homes,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “The Department of Justice is committed to providing trauma-informed guidance, resources and training across the country to combat this critical challenge, and I am proud to stand with my federal partners as we work to establish a comprehensive federal response to address the unique housing needs and safety concerns of domestic violence survivors.”
“Escaping domestic violence should not increase a person’s chances of becoming homeless,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Unfortunately that is too often the case for survivors and their children, which is why I’m proud to join this interagency effort to develop more comprehensive efforts to protect and serve survivors of domestic violence.”
According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) report, nearly 10 million people in the U.S. experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in 2010. According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in 2008, 28 percent of U.S. families were homeless because of domestic violence and 39 percent of U.S. cities cited domestic violence as the primary cause of family homelessness. The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has established the goal of preventing and ending homelessness among families, youth, and children by 2020.
“Domestic violence is a primary cause of family homelessness because many victims leave their homes to pursue safety,” said Commissioner Rafael López of HHS’ Administration on Children, Youth and Families. “Victims of domestic violence need housing options that meet their immediate and long-term needs. This interagency consortium will help us marshal federal resources to address domestic violence.”
As a result of this interagency collaboration, grant funds are being provided to the following organizations:
District Alliance for Safe Housing (Washington, D.C.)
National Network to End Domestic Violence (Washington, D.C.)
National Resource Center for Domestic Violence (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania):
Training Development Associates (Laurinburg, North Carolina)/Collaborative Solutions, Inc. (Birmingham, Alabama)
The four grant recipients will form the Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium and will work with domestic violence providers and homeless service providers nationwide to improve policies, identify promising practices and strengthen collaborations necessary to improve housing options for survivors of domestic violence and their children in order to enhance safety, stability, and well-being. The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and Office on Violence Against Women; HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs and HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services have worked together to increase capacity, resources and guidance to adequately address the housing needs of domestic violence survivors and their children, as leading members of the Domestic Violence Committee of the USICH.
About the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women
Created in 1995, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides federal leadership in developing the Nation’s capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and subsequent legislation. OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. To learn more, visit www.justice.gov/ovw.
About the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to enhancing the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. Established in 1988 through an amendment to the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, OVC is charged by Congress with administering the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund). Through OVC, the Fund supports a broad array of programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and continuing to support them as they rebuild their lives. Millions of dollars are invested annually in victim compensation and assistance in every U.S. state and territory, as well as for training, technical assistance, and other capacity-building programs designed to enhance service providers’ ability to support victims of crime in communities across the Nation. To learn more, visit www.ovc.gov/.
About the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs
The Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) supports the nationwide commitment to ending homelessness by providing funding opportunities to nonprofit organizations and State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families. Through these opportunities, SNAPS advocates self-sufficiency and promotes the effective utilization of mainstream resources available to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. https://www.hudexchange.info/homelessness-assistance/.
About the Department of Health and Human Services’ Family Violence Prevention and Services Program
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program is the primary federal funder of domestic violence emergency shelter and other supportive services in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, 5 Territories and 274 Tribes. For more facts on the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/fvpsa.