Photo of a woman crying while raising one hand to the camera to block her face from being seen. Photo by AdobeStock.

HUD launches online help for domestic violence survivors

Photo of a woman crying while raising one hand to the camera to block her face from being seen. Photo by AdobeStock.

Top Story: HUD launches online help for domestic violence survivors

HUD has recently launched a new webpage with resources for domestic violence survivors, under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). 

The site has resources explaining VAWA’s housing protections for survivors of domestic violence. In addition, the site has resources for organizations that operate shelters and provide services for domestic violence survivors.

The VAWA site also has information to assist survivors immediately. It provides national hotlines and a list of organizations that can help survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. The national hotlines and organizations can direct survivors to local organizations and services.

Communities receive $315 million to address rising homelessness

HUD awarded $315 million to 46 communities around the country to address the needs of unsheltered people and rural communities grappling with rising homelessness. This is the first time that HUD has targeted assistance directly for the needs of unsheltered people.

$54 million of these funds went to agencies serving rural communities. Although most rural areas have residents who are homeless, they are often less visible than in urban areas. These funds will help rural communities build stronger shelter and affordable housing networks.

Majority of mayors say zoning is not a barrier to homeless residents

A 2021 survey of mayors shows 70% of U.S. mayors do not believe that zoning is a barrier to shelter and housing for homeless residents. Research from Boston University’s Initiative on Cities, though, shows that zoning codes have a large impact on how much affordable housing gets built.

The survey found that only 20% of mayors felt that they had more than “moderate” control over homelessness in their cities. The majority, 60%, said that limited funding was the biggest obstacle to reducing homelessness in their communities.

HUD’s largest housing authority faces financial crisis

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) collected only 65% of the rent owed from public housing tenants last year. This is the lowest rate in the agency’s history. NYCHA is the largest public housing agency in the country, with 177,569 apartments in 335 developments around the city.

The lack of rent payments has left NYCHA in a financial crisis. With this shortfall, NYCHA will have trouble keeping up with basic maintenance and providing essential services like elevator repairs or removing mold.

The shortfall in payments is largely due to the pandemic and recent inflation. From 2019-2021, NYCHA reports that it processed 500,000 requests for rent adjustments.

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