About Crime Free
Keep Illegal Activity Off Rental Property
Executive Director - Timothy L. Zehring
Contact Information: Only POLITE and DETAILED emails are answered. You MUST provide your name and phone number. We do NOT give tenant, legal or security-related advice! We ONLY provide training.
Executive Director: Timothy L. Zehring
Mailing Address: PO Box 1146 - Higley, AZ 85236
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
About The International Crime Free Association
The International Crime Free Association's mission is to work with law enforcement agencies who are dedicated to protecting the men, women and children living in vulnerable communities. People living in vulnerable communities are disproportionately persons of color, and virtually all persons living in these vulnerable communities cannot afford to break their lease, pack up and move to a safer place. So they live in fear for themselves and their children - of whom many have died at a very young age. We work to protect children and adults in vulnerable communities.
The International Crime Free Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The International Crime Free Association is also in partnership
with rental property owners, property managers, tenants,
business owners, and experts in many specialty fields. The Crime
Free Programs, with the combined expertise of our members,
make rental properties and businesses significantly safer places to live
We regularly respond to tenants' inquiries of wrongful discrimination. Our goal is to help any persons involved with all types of
rental properties, by expanding their knowledge of the current laws and the Crime Free
Programs through our training, networking, information sharing, and
assistance with on-going and regularly updated Crime Free Programs.
Do not rely on our website for legal advice. The laws are constantly changing! Whenever we learn about the laws changing, we change our training accordingly. Any old Crime Free Program materials (based on old laws) do not represent our current Crime Free Program training.
The Inspiration For Crime Free Housing
This Crime Free/Drug Free Multi-Housing Program was inspired by the Drug Free School Zones and Drug Free Workplaces in the U.S.
In 1970, legislators began creating Drug Free School Zones, imposing severe penalties on drug crimes at schools. The theory behind the legislation was that children should not be victimized by drug offenders. The 14th Amendment outlines Constitutional Rights for the education of children. If anyone suggests there could be the effect of discrimination against persons of color, or persons living in poverty, should Drug Free School Zones be abolished and held as unconstitutional?
In 1988, the U.S. Congress enacted the Drug-Free Workplace Act requiring Federal agency contractors to certify that they will provide a drug-free workplace as a pre-condition of receiving a contract or a grant from a Federal agency. Federal law entitles every working person to a safe workplace. If anyone suggests there could be the effect of discrimination against persons of color, or persons living in poverty, should Drug Free Workplaces be abolished and held as unconstitutional?
Who would disagree with policies that protect children from bullying and an unsafe school environment? Who would disagree with policies that protect workers from the harms that are associated with a dangerous job environment?
Indeed, who would disagree with a unanimous Supreme Court ruling and U.S. Federal Laws that protect families and children (disproportionately persons of color) from harms associated with dangerous crimes in rental-housing complexes? President Clinton said, "Government should be on the side of those who abide by the law, not those who break it. On the side of the victims, not their attackers."
The International Crime Free Association was spurred on to its success because of $30 Billion in funding from (Then-President) Bill (and Hillary) Clinton's support, (Now-President) Joe Biden's support and the Black Caucus support (with African-Americans and pastors)
for the 1994 Crime Bill to take criminal "SUPER PREDATORS" off the street.
We advise our instructors NOT to use those (and other) pejorative terms.
Title 42 in U.S. Federal Law provides that drug-related criminal activity on or off federal low-income housing properties shall be cause for eviction.
The U.S. Supreme Court held, in a unanimous decision, that Congress had directly spoken to the precise question at issue and that housing authorities may terminate the lease of a tenant when a member of the household or a guest engages in drug-related activity, regardless of whether the tenant knew, or should have known, of the drug-related activity. If anyone suggests there could be the effect of discrimination against persons of color, or persons living in poverty,
should Crime Free / Drug Free Rental Housing be abolished and held as unconstitutional?
(Now-President) Biden's 1993 comments on "PREDATORS"
(Now-President) Biden's 1998 comments on "PREDATORS"
(Then-President) Clinton's 1994 Crime Bill for "SUPER PREDATORS"
Bill Clinton's recent comments in defense of the 1994 Crime Bill.
Joe Biden's recent comments in defense of the 1994 Crime Bill.
Joe Biden Denies That The 1994 Crime Bill Caused Mass Incarceration.
Don't Believe Media Lies. (They Probably Don't.*)
Click Here: The Media Doesn't Want You To See This Crime Free Video
Click the link below. Research the entire video (Part 1 Part 2 Part 3). Also, read this entire web page. (Then you can decide for yourself!)
An Axios report, titled: Media Trust Hits New Low (2021)
states, "56% of Americans agree with the statement that 'Journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.'"
(and) "58% think that 'most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.'"
NBC News' Mosheh Gains published a report (2021) titled: “Public trust in military and police falls, but numbers for Congress and media are worse. Trust in the media fell from 16 to 14 percent.”
A Columbia Journalism Review article, titled: The Fall, Rise, and Fall of Media Trust (2019), "Polling has allowed us to measure public confidence in the press (or Media). The limitations of straitjacketed objectivity came to be understood and journalism began to embrace the necessity of interpretation."
Beth Knobel's book, titled: The Watchdog Still Barks (2018) shows a continued growth in investigative and other forms of enterprise reporting from 1991 to 2011 to pursue aggressive, analytical journalism. This places great responsibility on readers to discern for themselves the difference between what can be trusted as factual and what merely represents the reporter’s judgment.
You're being played! Objective journalism does not use S.I.G.N. language (i.e., Shaming, Insulting, Guilting, Needing to prove they are right). Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for The Washington Post, suggests that journalism could regain trust by “stamping out a snarky attitude that implicitly brags, 'I am smarter than my audience.’”
Could it be this break from objectivity and the embraced necessity of interpretation contributed to the increasing distrust in our Media? The Columbia Journalism Review has published this conclusion:
"It may be time for journalists to acknowledge that they write from a set of values - not simply from a disinterested effort at truth. This will not be easy."
Not all journalists are bad. Sometimes the Media is fair. However, our recent experiences with the Media over the past few years have proven the conclusion of the Columbia Journalism Review is very true. The Media is very likely to pick and choose what they want to report. It is our opinion the Media has largely made up their mind about what they are going to report - before they even begin their interview – and they will only look for whatever supports their personal set of values.
There is information on our website and interviews on the Internet that debunk their reports, but they won't do basic journalism research or be fact-checked by us. (One example is a criminal history is always held against a person. NOT TRUE.) Anything that does not support their personal set of values will almost always be ignored or misconstrued. They have the “power of the pen” so our points won’t even get reported. Most of the time it is a lose-lose deal talking to the Media.
The Media frequently reports the Crime Free Program is a form of structural racism that makes it harder for persons of color to find apartments and stay in them. Instead of analyzing if they have the right issue, they analyze to see if they can manufacture a race issue. Using trumped-up claims of racism to attack something they personally dislike is disgusting. It trivializes the struggles and pain felt by those who have endured hatred and prejudice - and their work to overcome it.
Could it be the Media uses trumped-up claims of structural racism to play on your emotions and divorce you from your logic? Could it be the very intention of aggressive, analytical journalism is to generate emotional responses, which will generate “clicks” – which will then generate REVENUE and RATINGS from all those “clicks”? The Media is for-profit. The police are not. The police (and victims' families) have to work with the broken lives and see dead bodies. The Media does not.
The Media uses emotional anecdotes - not official and credible or tested case studies. Where is the SCIENCE or HARD DATA? An emotionally crafted anecdote is not science or hard data. The Media won't show an emotional anecdote of murder or rape victims and their devastated families (often persons of color) because it destroys the Media's prejudice. That prejudice is very real and very obvious to most.
Do not be surprised if you do not see the Media interviewing the residents, of all races, who are thankful the Crime Free Program has made their families safer, because they cannot afford to move! It may just be the journalist is writing for ratings, for revenue, and from their personal set of values - not from a disinterested effort at truth.
The fact is, the International Crime Free Association educates police and property managers about what the laws actually say and what the laws will not allow. The police do not teach property managers to break the law. When the laws change, our instruction changes accordingly.
How Is The Association Structured?
The Association is governed by an Executive Director and other Board Members who are part-time and serve for one year. Board Members are appointed and serve at the will of the Executive
Director. The outgoing Executive Director appoints the incoming Executive Director, with the approval of the Board Members.
Please Open And Review All The Contents Of The TRAINER CERTIFICATION Tab On This Website!
DISCLAIMER: These pages are written as a community service for those interested in the subjects of rental property management, law enforcement, security, crime prevention, and liability issues. The reader understands that the International Crime Free Association's members and Executive Officers are not lawyers, nor engaged in the practice of law, and are not rendering legal advice. The association shall have no liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss, liability or damage allegedly caused by the application of this information or opinions expressed on this website.
We teach Federal Laws, HUD Policies, and 24 CFR Part 5 (Code of Federal Regulations).
The International Crime Free Association does not require property management to adopt any particular policy regarding the following, rather we just teach what the law says, and leave the rest to their own legal counsel. Of course, property managers can adopt any of these guidelines without participation in the Crime Free Program.
The following information regarding the Crime Free Lease Addendum, Tenant Screening and Eviction SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS LEGAL ADVICE. It is illustrative of topics that are covered in class. Always consult with a competent attorney.
Crime Free Lease Addendum:
Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Rucker
Can a tenant be evicted for drug-related activity of non-tenant relatives or guests regardless of whether tenants knew, or should have known, about the activity?
Yes. In an 8-0 opinion delivered by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the United States Supreme Court held that the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 unambiguously requires lease terms that vest local public housing authorities with the discretion to evict tenants for the drug-related activity of household members and guests whether or not the tenant knew, or should have known, about the activity.
Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote, "Congress' decision not to impose any qualification in the statute, combined with its use of the term 'any' to modify 'drug-related criminal activity,' precludes any knowledge requirement." The Chief Justice also noted that it was reasonable for Congress to permit no-fault evictions in order to provide public housing that was decent, safe, and free from illegal drugs.
Tenant Screening And Eviction:
GPO.GOV Code of Federal Regulations
(Electronic) Code of Federal Regulations from the United States Publishing Office:
Title 24: Housing and Urban Development
PART 5 — GENERAL HUD PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS; WAIVERS
Subpart I — Preventing Crime in Federally Assisted Housing — Denying Admission and Terminating Tenancy for Criminal Activity or Alcohol Abuse.
SOURCE: 66 FR 28792, May 24, 2001, unless otherwise noted.
§5.850 Which subsidized housing is covered by this subpart?
(a) If you are the owner of federally assisted housing, your federally assisted housing is covered, except as provided in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section.
(b) If you are operating public housing, this subpart does not apply, but similar provisions applicable to public housing units are found in parts 960 and 966 of this title. If you administer tenant-based assistance under Section 8 or you are the owner of housing assisted with tenant-based assistance under Section 8, this subpart does not apply to you, but similar provisions that do apply are located in part 982 of this title.
(c) If you own or administer housing assisted by the Rural Housing Administration under section 514 or section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949, this subpart does not apply to you.
§5.851 What authority do I have to screen applicants and to evict tenants?
(a) Screening applicants. You are authorized to screen applicants for the programs covered by this part. The provisions of this subpart implement statutory directives that either require or permit you to take action to deny admission to applicants under certain circumstances in accordance with established standards, as described in this subpart. The provisions of this subpart do not constrain your authority to screen out applicants who you determined are unsuitable under your standards for admission.
(b) Terminating tenancy. You are authorized to terminate tenancy of tenants, in accordance with your leases and landlord-tenant law for the programs covered by this part. The provisions of this subpart implement statutory directives that either require or permit you to terminate tenancy under certain circumstances, as provided in 42 U.S.C. 1437f, 1437n, and 13662, in accordance with established standards, as described in this subpart. You retain authority to terminate tenancy on any basis that is otherwise authorized.
§5.852 What discretion do I have in screening and eviction actions?
(a) General. If the law and regulation permit you to take an action but do not require action to be taken, you may take or not take the action in accordance with your standards for admission and eviction. Consistent with the application of your admission and eviction standards, you may consider all of the circumstances relevant to a particular admission or eviction case, such as:
(1) The seriousness of the offending action;
(2) The effect on the community of denial or termination or the failure of the responsible entity to take such action;
(3) The extent of participation by the leaseholder in the offending action;
(4) The effect of denial of admission or termination of tenancy on household members not involved in the offending action;
(5) The demand for assisted housing by families who will adhere to lease responsibilities;
(6) The extent to which the leaseholder has shown personal responsibility and taken all reasonable steps to prevent or mitigate the offending action; and
(7) The effect of the responsible entity's action on the integrity of the program.
(b) Exclusion of culpable household member. You may require an applicant (or tenant) to exclude a household member in order to be admitted to the housing program (or continue to reside in the assisted unit), where that household member has participated in or been culpable for action or failure to act that warrants denial (or termination).
(c) Consideration of rehabilitation.
(1) In determining whether to deny admission or terminate tenancy for illegal use of drugs or alcohol abuse by a household member who is no longer engaged in such behavior, you may consider whether such household member is participating in or has successfully completed a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully (42 U.S.C. 13661). For this purpose, you may require the applicant or tenant to submit evidence of the household member's current participation in, or successful completion of, a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program or evidence of otherwise having been rehabilitated successfully.
(2) If rehabilitation is not an element of the eligibility determination (see §5.854(a)(1) for the case where it must be considered), you may choose not to consider whether the person has been rehabilitated.
(d) Length of period of mandatory prohibition on admission.
If a statute requires that you prohibit admission of persons for a prescribed period of time after some disqualifying behavior or event, you may apply that prohibition for a longer period of time.
(e) Nondiscrimination limitation.
Your admission and eviction actions must be consistent with fair housing and equal opportunity provisions of §5.105.
(a) Terms found elsewhere. The following terms are defined in subpart A of this part: 1937 Act, covered person, drug, drug-related criminal activity, federally assisted housing, guest, household, HUD, other person under the tenant's control, premises, public housing, public housing agency (PHA), Section 8, violent criminal activity.
(b) Additional terms used in this part are as follows.
Currently engaging in. With respect to behavior such as illegal use of a drug, other drug-related criminal activity, or other criminal activity, currently engaging in means that the individual has engaged in the behavior recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that the individual's behavior is current.
Owner. The owner of federally assisted housing.
Responsible entity. For the Section 8 project-based certificate or project-based voucher program (part 983 of this title) and the Section 8 moderate rehabilitation program (part 882 of this title), responsible entity means the PHA administering the program under an Annual Contributions Contract with HUD. For all other federally assisted housing, the responsible entity means the owner of the housing.
§5.854 When must I prohibit admission of individuals who have engaged in drug-related criminal activity?
(a) You must prohibit admission to your federally assisted housing of an applicant for three years from the date of eviction if any household member has been evicted from federally assisted housing for drug-related criminal activity. However, you may admit the household if:
(1) The evicted household member who engaged in drug-related criminal activity has successfully completed an approved supervised drug rehabilitation program; or
(2) The circumstances leading to the eviction no longer exist (for example, the criminal household member has died or is imprisoned).
(b) You must establish standards that prohibit admission of a household to federally assisted housing if:
(1) You determine that any household member is currently engaging in illegal use of a drug; or
(2) You determine that you have reasonable cause to believe that a household member's illegal use or a pattern of illegal use of a drug may interfere with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
§5.855 When am I specifically authorized to prohibit admission of individuals who have engaged in criminal activity?
(a) You may prohibit admission of a household to federally assisted housing under your standards if you determine that any household member is currently engaging in, or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the admission decision:
(1) Drug-related criminal activity;
(2) Violent criminal activity;
(3) Other criminal activity that would threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents; or
(4) Other criminal activity that would threaten the health or safety of the PHA or owner or any employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent of the PHA or owner who is involved in the housing operations.
(b) You may establish a period before the admission decision during which an applicant must not have engaged in the activities specified in paragraph (a) of this section (reasonable time).
(c) If you previously denied admission to an applicant because of a determination concerning a member of the household under paragraph (a) of this section, you may reconsider the applicant if you have sufficient evidence that the members of the household are not currently engaged in, and have not engaged in, such criminal activity during a reasonable period, determined by you, before the admission decision.
(1) You would have sufficient evidence if the household member submitted a certification that she or he is not currently engaged in and has not engaged in such criminal activity during the specified period and provided supporting information from such sources as a probation officer, a landlord, neighbors, social service agency workers and criminal records, which you verified. (See subpart J of this part for one method of checking criminal records.)
(2) For purposes of this section, a household member is currently engaged in the criminal activity if the person has engaged in the behavior recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that the behavior is current.
§5.856 When must I prohibit admission of sex offenders?
You must establish standards that prohibit admission to federally assisted housing if any member of the household is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a State sex offender registration program. In the screening of applicants, you must perform necessary criminal history background checks in the State where the housing is located and in other States where the household members are known to have resided. (See §5.905.)
§5.857 When must I prohibit admission of alcohol abusers?
You must establish standards that prohibit admission to federally assisted housing if you determine you have reasonable cause to believe that a household member's abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol interferes with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
§5.858 What authority do I have to evict drug criminals?
The lease must provide that drug-related criminal activity engaged in on or near the premises by any tenant, household member, or guest, and any such activity engaged in on the premises by any other person under the tenant's control, is grounds for you to terminate tenancy. In addition, the lease must allow you to evict a family when you determine that a household member is illegally using a drug or when you determine that a pattern of illegal use of a drug interferes with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
§5.859 When am I specifically authorized to evict other criminals?
(a) Threat to other residents. The lease must provide that the owner may terminate tenancy for any of the following types of criminal activity by a covered person:
(1) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents (including property management staff residing on the premises); or
(2) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of their residences by persons residing in the immediate vicinity of the premises.
(b) Fugitive felon or parole violator. The lease must provide that you may terminate the tenancy during the term of the lease if a tenant is:
(1) Fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime, or attempt to commit a crime, that is a felony under the laws of the place from which the individual flees, or that, in the case of the State of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor; or
(2) Violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under Federal or State law.
§5.860 When am I specifically authorized to evict alcohol abusers?
The lease must provide that you may terminate the tenancy if you determine that a household member's abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.
§5.861 What evidence of criminal activity must I have to evict?
You may terminate tenancy and evict the tenant through judicial action for criminal activity by a covered person in accordance with this subpart if you determine that the covered person has engaged in the criminal activity, regardless of whether the covered person has been arrested or convicted for such activity and without satisfying a criminal conviction standard of proof of the activity.
Subpart L—Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking
SOURCE: 81 FR 80798, Nov. 16, 2016, unless otherwise noted.
(a) This subpart addresses the protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking who are applying for, or are the beneficiaries of, assistance under a HUD program covered by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 13925 and 42 U.S.C. 14043e et seq.) (“covered housing program,” as defined in §5.2003). Notwithstanding the title of the statute, protections are not limited to women but cover victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Consistent with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements at 24 CFR 5.105(a), victims cannot be discriminated against on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or age.
HUD programs must also be operated consistently with HUD's Equal Access Rule at §5.105(a)(2), which requires that HUD-assisted and HUD-insured housing are made available to all otherwise eligible individuals and families regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
(b)(1) The applicable assistance provided under a covered housing program generally consists of two types of assistance (one or both may be provided): Tenant-based rental assistance, which is rental assistance that is provided to the tenant; and project-based assistance, which is assistance that attaches to the unit in which the tenant resides. For project-based assistance, the assistance may consist of such assistance as operating assistance, development assistance, and mortgage interest rate subsidy.
(2) The regulations in this subpart are supplemented by the specific regulations for the HUD-covered housing programs listed in §5.2003. The program-specific regulations address how certain VAWA requirements are to be implemented and whether they can be implemented (for example, reasonable time to establish eligibility for assistance as provided in §5.2009(b)) for the applicable covered housing program, given the statutory and regulatory framework for the program. When there is conflict between the regulations of this subpart and the program-specific regulations, the program-specific regulations govern. Where assistance is provided under more than one covered housing program and there is a conflict between VAWA protections or remedies under those programs, the individual seeking the VAWA protections or remedies may choose to use the protections or remedies under any or all of those programs, as long as the protections or remedies would be feasible and permissible under each of the program statutes.
The definitions of PHA, HUD, household, and other person under the tenant's control are defined in subpart A of this part. As used in this subpart L:
Actual and imminent threat refers to a physical danger that is real, would occur within an immediate time frame, and could result in death or serious bodily harm. In determining whether an individual would pose an actual and imminent threat, the factors to be considered include: The duration of the risk, the nature and severity of the potential harm, the likelihood that the potential harm will occur, and the length of time before the potential harm would occur.
Affiliated individual, with respect to an individual, means:
(1) A spouse, parent, brother, sister, or child of that individual, or a person to whom that individual stands in the place of a parent or guardian (for example, the affiliated individual is a person in the care, custody, or control of that individual); or
(2) Any individual, tenant, or lawful occupant living in the household of that individual.
Bifurcate means to divide a lease as a matter of law, subject to the permissibility of such process under the requirements of the applicable HUD-covered program and State or local law, such that certain tenants or lawful occupants can be evicted or removed and the remaining tenants or lawful occupants can continue to reside in the unit under the same lease requirements or as may be revised depending upon the eligibility for continued occupancy of the remaining tenants and lawful occupants.
Covered housing program consists of the following HUD programs:
(1) Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly (12 U.S.C. 1701q), with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 891.
(2) Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (42 U.S.C. 8013), with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 891.
(3) Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program (42 U.S.C. 12901 et seq.), with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 574.
(4) HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program (42 U.S.C. 12741 et seq.), with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 92.
(5) Homeless programs under title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11360 et seq.), including the Emergency Solutions Grants program (with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 576), the Continuum of Care program (with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 578), and the Rural Housing Stability Assistance program (with regulations forthcoming).
(6) Multifamily rental housing under section 221(d)(3) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 17151(d)) with a below-market interest rate (BMIR) pursuant to section 221(d)(5), with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 221.
(7) Multifamily rental housing under section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z-1), with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 236.
(8) HUD programs assisted under the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.); specifically, public housing under section 6 of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437d) (with regulations at 24 CFR Chapter IX), tenant-based and project-based rental assistance under section 8 of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437f) (with regulations at 24 CFR chapters VIII and IX), and the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy (with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 882, subpart H).
(9) The Housing Trust Fund (12 U.S.C. 4568) (with implementing regulations at 24 CFR part 93).
Covered housing provider refers to the individual or entity under a covered housing program that has responsibility for the administration and/or oversight of VAWA protections and includes PHAs, sponsors, owners, mortgagors, managers, State and local governments or agencies thereof, nonprofit or for-profit organizations or entities. The program-specific regulations for the covered housing programs identify the individual or entity that carries out the duties and responsibilities of the covered housing provider as set forth in part 5, subpart L. For any of the covered housing programs, it is possible that there may be more than one covered housing provider; that is, depending upon the VAWA duty or responsibility to be performed by a covered housing provider, the covered housing provider may not always be the same individual or entity.
Dating violence means violence committed by a person:
(1) Who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
(2) Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
(i) The length of the relationship;
(ii) The type of relationship; and
(iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. The term “spouse or intimate partner of the victim” includes a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, as determined by the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Sexual assault means any nonconsensual sexual act proscribed by Federal, tribal, or State law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent.
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
(1) Fear for the person's individual safety or the safety of others; or
(2) Suffer substantial emotional distress.
VAWA means the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, as amended (42 U.S.C. 13925 and 42 U.S.C. 14043e et seq.).
§5.2005 VAWA protections.
(a) Notification of occupancy rights under VAWA, and certification form. (1) A covered housing provider must provide to each of its applicants and to each of its tenants the notice of occupancy rights and the certification form as described in this section:
(i) A “Notice of Occupancy Rights under the Violence Against Women Act,” as prescribed and in accordance with directions provided by HUD, that explains the VAWA protections under this subpart, including the right to confidentiality, and any limitations on those protections; and
(ii) A certification form, in a form approved by HUD, to be completed by the victim to document an incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, and that:
(A) States that the applicant or tenant is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
(B) States that the incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking that is the ground for protection under this subpart meets the applicable definition for such incident under §5.2003; and
(C) Includes the name of the individual who committed the domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the name is known and safe to provide.
(2) The notice required by paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section and certification form required by paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section must be provided to an applicant or tenant no later than at each of the following times:
(i) At the time the applicant is denied assistance or admission under a covered housing program;
(ii) At the time the individual is provided assistance or admission under the covered housing program;
(iii) With any notification of eviction or notification of termination of assistance; and
(iv) During the 12-month period following December 16, 2016, either during the annual recertification or lease renewal process, whichever is applicable, or, if there will be no recertification or lease renewal for a tenant during the first year after the rule takes effect, through other means.
(3) The notice required by paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section and the certification form required by paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section must be made available in multiple languages, consistent with guidance issued by HUD in accordance with Executive Order 13166 (Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, signed August 11, 2000, and published in the FEDERAL REGISTER on August 16, 2000 (at 65 FR 50121).
(4) For the Housing Choice Voucher program under 24 CFR part 982, the project-based voucher program under 24 CFR part 983, the public housing admission and occupancy requirements under 24 CFR part 960, and renewed funding or leases of the Section 8 project-based program under 24 CFR parts 880, 882, 883, 884, 886, as well as project-based section 8 provided in connection with housing under part 891, the HUD-required lease, lease addendum, or tenancy addendum, as applicable, must include a description of specific protections afforded to the victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as provided in this subpart.
(b) Prohibited basis for denial or termination of assistance or eviction—(1) General. An applicant for assistance or tenant assisted under a covered housing program may not be denied admission to, denied assistance under, terminated from participation in, or evicted from the housing on the basis or as a direct result of the fact that the applicant or tenant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the applicant or tenant otherwise qualifies for admission, assistance, participation, or occupancy.
(2) Termination on the basis of criminal activity.
A tenant in a covered housing program may not be denied tenancy or occupancy rights solely on the basis of criminal activity directly relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking if:
(i) The criminal activity is engaged in by a member of the household of the tenant or any guest or other person under the control of the tenant, and
(ii) The tenant or an affiliated individual of the tenant is the victim or threatened victim of such domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.
(c) Construction of lease terms and terms of assistance. An incident of actual or threatened domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking shall not be construed as:
(1) A serious or repeated violation of a lease executed under a covered housing program by the victim or threatened victim of such incident; or
(2) Good cause for terminating the assistance, tenancy, or occupancy rights under a covered housing program of the victim or threatened victim of such incident.
(d) Limitations of VAWA protections. (1) Nothing in this section limits the authority of a covered housing provider, when notified of a court order, to comply with a court order with respect to:
(i) The rights of access or control of property, including civil protection orders issued to protect a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking; or
(ii) The distribution or possession of property among members of a household.
(2) Nothing in this section limits any available authority of a covered housing provider to evict or terminate assistance to a tenant for any violation not premised on an act of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking that is in question against the tenant or an affiliated individual of the tenant. However, the covered housing provider must not subject the tenant, who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or is affiliated with an individual who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, to a more demanding standard than other tenants in determining whether to evict or terminate assistance.
(3) Nothing in this section limits the authority of a covered housing provider to terminate assistance to or evict a tenant under a covered housing program if the covered housing provider can demonstrate an actual and imminent threat to other tenants or those employed at or providing service to property of the covered housing provider would be present if that tenant or lawful occupant is not evicted or terminated from assistance. In this context, words, gestures, actions, or other indicators will be considered an “actual and imminent threat” if they meet the standards provided in the definition of “actual and imminent threat” in §5.2003.
(4) Any eviction or termination of assistance, as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section should be utilized by a covered housing provider only when there are no other actions that could be taken to reduce or eliminate the threat, including, but not limited to, transferring the victim to a different unit, barring the perpetrator from the property, contacting law enforcement to increase police presence or develop other plans to keep the property safe, or seeking other legal remedies to prevent the perpetrator from acting on a threat. Restrictions predicated on public safety cannot be based on stereotypes, but must be tailored to particularized concerns about individual residents.
(e) Emergency transfer plan.
Each covered housing provider, as identified in the program-specific regulations for the covered housing program, shall adopt an emergency transfer plan, no later than June 14, 2017 based on HUD's model emergency transfer plan, in accordance with the following:
(1) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(i) Internal emergency transfer refers to an emergency relocation of a tenant to another unit where the tenant would not be categorized as a new applicant; that is, the tenant may reside in the new unit without having to undergo an application process.
(ii) External emergency transfer refers to an emergency relocation of a tenant to another unit where the tenant would be categorized as a new applicant; that is the tenant must undergo an application process in order to reside in the new unit.
(iii) Safe unit refers to a unit that the victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking believes is safe.
(2) The emergency transfer plan must provide that a tenant receiving rental assistance through, or residing in a unit subsidized under, a covered housing program who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking qualifies for an emergency transfer if:
(i) The tenant expressly requests the transfer; and
(ii)(A) The tenant reasonably believes there is a threat of imminent harm from further violence if the tenant remains within the same dwelling unit that the tenant is currently occupying; or
(B) In the case of a tenant who is a victim of sexual assault, either the tenant reasonably believes there is a threat of imminent harm from further violence if the tenant remains within the same dwelling unit that the tenant is currently occupying, or the sexual assault occurred on the premises during the 90-calendar-day period preceding the date of the request for transfer.
(3) The emergency transfer plan must detail the measure of any priority given to tenants who qualify for an emergency transfer under VAWA in relation to other categories of tenants seeking transfers and individuals seeking placement on waiting lists.
(4) The emergency transfer plan must incorporate strict confidentiality measures to ensure that the covered housing provider does not disclose the location of the dwelling unit of the tenant to a person who committed or threatened to commit an act of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against the tenant.
(5) The emergency transfer plan must allow a tenant to make an internal emergency transfer under VAWA when a safe unit is immediately available.
(6) The emergency transfer plan must describe policies for assisting a tenant in making an internal emergency transfer under VAWA when a safe unit is not immediately available, and these policies must ensure that requests for internal emergency transfers under VAWA receive, at a minimum, any applicable additional priority that housing providers may already provide to other types of emergency transfer requests.
(7) The emergency transfer plan must describe reasonable efforts the covered housing provider will take to assist a tenant who wishes to make an external emergency transfer when a safe unit is not immediately available. The plan must include policies for assisting a tenant who is seeking an external emergency transfer under VAWA out of the covered housing provider's program or project, and a tenant who is seeking an external emergency transfer under VAWA into the covered housing provider's program or project. These policies may include:
(i) Arrangements, including memoranda of understanding, with other covered housing providers to facilitate moves; and
(ii) Outreach activities to organizations that assist or provide resources to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(8) Nothing may preclude a tenant from seeking an internal emergency transfer and an external emergency transfer concurrently if a safe unit is not immediately available.
(9) Where applicable, the emergency transfer plan must describe policies for a tenant who has tenant-based rental assistance and who meets the requirements of paragraph (e)(2) of this section to move quickly with that assistance.
(10) The emergency transfer plan may require documentation from a tenant seeking an emergency transfer, provided that:
(i) The tenant's submission of a written request to the covered housing provider, where the tenant certifies that they meet the criteria in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, shall be sufficient documentation of the requirements in paragraph (e)(2) of this section;
(ii) The covered housing provider may, at its discretion, ask an individual seeking an emergency transfer to document the occurrence of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, in accordance with §5.2007, for which the individual is seeking the emergency transfer, if the individual has not already provided documentation of that occurrence; and
(iii) No other documentation is required to qualify the tenant for an emergency transfer.
(11) The covered housing provider must make its emergency transfer plan available upon request and, when feasible, must make its plan publicly available.
(12) The covered housing provider must keep a record of all emergency transfers requested under its emergency transfer plan, and the outcomes of such requests, and retain these records for a period of three years, or for a period of time as specified in program regulations. Requests and outcomes of such requests must be reported to HUD annually.
(13) Nothing in this paragraph (e) may be construed to supersede any eligibility or other occupancy requirements that may apply under a covered housing program.
§5.2007 Documenting the occurrence of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(a) Request for documentation. (1) Under a covered housing program, if an applicant or tenant represents to the covered housing provider that the individual is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking entitled to the protections under §5.2005, or remedies under §5.2009, the covered housing provider may request, in writing, that the applicant or tenant submit to the covered housing provider the documentation specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(2)(i) If an applicant or tenant does not provide the documentation requested under paragraph (a)(1) of this section within 14 business days after the date that the tenant receives a request in writing for such documentation from the covered housing provider, nothing in §5.2005 or §5.2009, which addresses the protections of VAWA, may be construed to limit the authority of the covered housing provider to:
(A) Deny admission by the applicant or tenant to the covered housing program;
(B) Deny assistance under the covered housing program to the applicant or tenant;
(C) Terminate the participation of the tenant in the covered housing program; or
(D) Evict the tenant, or a lawful occupant that commits a violation of a lease.
(ii) A covered housing provider may, at its discretion, extend the 14-business-day deadline under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.
(b) Permissible documentation and submission requirements. (1) In response to a written request to the applicant or tenant from the covered housing provider, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, the applicant or tenant may submit, as documentation of the occurrence of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, any one of the following forms of documentation, where it is at the discretion of the tenant or applicant which one of the following forms of documentation to submit:
(i) The certification form described in §5.2005(a)(1)(ii); or
(ii) A document:
(A) Signed by an employee, agent, or volunteer of a victim service provider, an attorney, or medical professional, or a mental health professional (collectively, “professional”) from whom the victim has sought assistance relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or the effects of abuse;
(B) Signed by the applicant or tenant; and
(C) That specifies, under penalty of perjury, that the professional believes in the occurrence of the incident of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking that is the ground for protection and remedies under this subpart, and that the incident meets the applicable definition of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking under §5.2003; or
(iii) A record of a Federal, State, tribal, territorial or local law enforcement agency, court, or administrative agency; or
(iv) At the discretion of a covered housing provider, a statement or other evidence provided by the applicant or tenant.
(2) If a covered housing provider receives documentation under paragraph (b)(1) of this section that contains conflicting information (including certification forms from two or more members of a household each claiming to be a victim and naming one or more of the other petitioning household members as the perpetrator), the covered housing provider may require an applicant or tenant to submit third-party documentation, as described in paragraphs (b)(1)(ii), (b)(1)(iii), or (b)(1)(iv) of this section, within 30 calendar days of the date of the request for the third-party documentation.
(3) Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall be construed to require a covered housing provider to request that an individual submit documentation of the status of the individual as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(c) Confidentiality. Any information submitted to a covered housing provider under this section, including the fact that an individual is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking (confidential information), shall be maintained in strict confidence by the covered housing provider.
(1) The covered housing provider shall not allow any individual administering assistance on behalf of the covered housing provider or any persons within their employ (e.g., contractors) or in the employ of the covered housing provider to have access to confidential information unless explicitly authorized by the covered housing provider for reasons that specifically call for these individuals to have access to this information under applicable Federal, State, or local law.
(2) The covered housing provider shall not enter confidential information described in paragraph (c) of this section into any shared database or disclose such information to any other entity or individual, except to the extent that the disclosure is:
(i) Requested or consented to in writing by the individual in a time-limited release
(ii) Required for use in an eviction proceeding or hearing regarding termination of assistance from the covered program; or
(iii) Otherwise required by applicable law.
(d) A covered housing provider's compliance with the protections of §§5.2005 and 5.2009, based on documentation received under this section shall not be sufficient to constitute evidence of an unreasonable act or omission by the covered housing provider. However, nothing in this paragraph (d) of this section shall be construed to limit the liability of a covered housing provider for failure to comply with §§5.2005 and 5.2009.
§5.2009 Remedies available to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
(a) Lease bifurcation. (1) A covered housing provider may in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section, bifurcate a lease, or remove a household member from a lease in order to evict, remove, terminate occupancy rights, or terminate assistance to such member who engages in criminal activity directly relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against an affiliated individual or other individual:
(i) Without regard to whether the household member is a signatory to the lease; and
(ii) Without evicting, removing, terminating assistance to, or otherwise penalizing a victim of such criminal activity who is also a tenant or lawful occupant.
(2) A lease bifurcation, as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, shall be carried out in accordance with any requirements or procedures as may be prescribed by Federal, State, or local law for termination of assistance or leases and in accordance with any requirements under the relevant covered housing program.
(b) Reasonable time to establish eligibility for assistance or find alternative housing following bifurcation of a lease—(1) Applicability. The reasonable time to establish eligibility under a covered housing program or find alternative housing is specified in paragraph (b) of this section, or alternatively in the program-specific regulations governing the applicable covered housing program. Some covered housing programs may provide different time frames than are specified in this paragraph (b), and in such cases, the program-specific regulations govern.
(2) Reasonable time to establish eligibility assistance or find alternative housing. (i) If a covered housing provider exercises the option to bifurcate a lease as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, and the individual who was evicted or for whom assistance was terminated was the eligible tenant under the covered housing program, the covered housing provider shall provide to any remaining tenant or tenants that were not already eligible a period of 90 calendar days from the date of bifurcation of the lease to:
(A) Establish eligibility for the same covered housing program under which the evicted or terminated tenant was the recipient of assistance at the time of bifurcation of the lease; or
(B) Establish eligibility under another covered housing program; or
(C) Find alternative housing.
(ii) The 90-calendar-day period provided by paragraph (b)(2) of this section will not be available to a remaining household member if the statutory requirements for the covered housing program prohibit it. The 90-day calendar period also will not apply beyond the expiration of a lease, unless this is permitted by program regulations. The 90-calendar-day period is the total period provided to a remaining tenant to establish eligibility under the three options provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(i)(A), (B), and (C) of this section.
(iii) The covered housing provider may extend the 90-calendar-day period in paragraph (b)(2) of this section up to an additional 60 calendar days, unless prohibited from doing so by statutory requirements of the covered program or unless the time period would extend beyond expiration of the lease.
(c) Efforts to promote housing stability for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Covered housing providers are encouraged to undertake whatever actions permissible and feasible under their respective programs to assist individuals residing in their units who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to remain in their units or other units under the covered housing program or other covered housing providers, and for the covered housing provider to bear the costs of any transfer, where permissible.