Studies have shown domestic and sexual violence to be one of the leading causes of homelessness. Some parts of the country even report that domestic and sexual violence is responsible for 25% of the homeless cases they see. The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has released a report: There’s No Place Like Home, to provide a state by state overview of state laws designed to address housing instability for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The report covers 16 types of housing protections.
Of these 16 protections, Connecticut only offers four to survivors of domestic and sexual violence:
- Early lease termination by battered tenant
- Relocation assistance and right to emergency shelter
- Confidentiality of housing records
- Relief from physical abuse, stalking, pattern of threatening by family or household member
While the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which signed into law on March 14, 2013 provides new housing protections for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, it’s protections are limited. The protections only apply to residents of federal public or assisted housing, not residents of private housing and other federal housing programs. Much more work needs to be done to ensure the survivors do not experience housing discrimination.
Click here to read the full report. There's No Place Like Home: State Laws that Protect Housing Rights for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence.