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State Law Compendium: Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors (2015)

State Law Compendium: Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors (2015)

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) has just released the 2015 edition of “Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors: A State and Local Law Compendium.” This compendium, which is updated annually, is a compilation of state and local laws that provide important safeguards for survivors of domestic violence who seek to access and maintain housing. The updated compendium includes laws enacted as of April 2015. For a list of state laws that were enacted between April and October 2015, see the chart here.

For an excerpt of the Maryland laws, click here.

Statistics gathered from the compendium:

• 21 states and localities have eviction defense laws for survivors;

• 26 states have early lease termination laws for survivors;

• 17 states have lock change laws for survivors;

• 7 states allow for lease bifurcation;

• 37 states permit courts to exclude the abuser from the housing and grant the possession of the property to the survivor;

• 17 states can require abusers to pay for or provide housing for survivors;

• 9 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;

• 43 states and localities have laws pertaining to confidentiality of housing records and documentation of survivors, or have an address confidentiality program.