Shaheen Applauds New HUD Rules Clarifying Protections for Victims of Harassment and Domestic Violence
**Shaheen introduced legislation in July to establish housing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault**
**Shaheen: Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault have so many obstacles to overcome – safe housing shouldn’t be one of them**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement in reaction to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) announcement to clarify legal standards for victims of domestic violence and sexual harassment under the Fair Housing Act. The announcement comes on the 22nd anniversary of the signing of the Violence Against Women Act, of which Senator Shaheen has been a strong supporter. In August, Senator Shaheen co-signed a letter to HUD Secretary Julián Castro, along with several Democratic colleagues, asking for further attention to nuisance ordinances that disproportionally affect survivors of domestic violence. In July, Senator Shaheen introduced legislation to codify nationwide housing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, titled the Fair Housing for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors Act of 2016. Her legislation would specifically prohibit discrimination against survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, including from nuisance ordinances, as well as provide HUD and the Department of Justice (DOJ) more direct authority to enforce those protections.
“I applaud the administration’s actions to draw awareness to the very important issues of domestic and sexual violence discrimination and harassment in housing,” said Senator Shaheen. “This is a pervasive problem affecting thousands of women across the country and a national conversation about the housing obstacles facing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as the various forms of harassment that occur in the home, will bring us closer to a solution. While HUD’s actions are an important step toward creating awareness of the issue, it’s clear that the current law is inadequate. I will continue to push for my legislation to establish critical legal protections so that women aren’t penalized for having an order of protection against an abuser and they aren’t evicted for calling the police because of violence in the home. Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault have so many obstacles to overcome – safe housing shouldn’t be one of them.”