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Domestic Violence Fatality Review Recommendations: Housing

Based on in-depth reviews of 84 domestic violence homicide and murder-suicide cases, the Domestic Violence Fatality Review (DVFR) identified 11 key goals to improve the response to domestic violence in Washington State. Among these key goals: Increase victims’ options for economic and housing stability.

The following is a summary of recommendations related to housing from the six DVFR reports issued 2000-2010. Page numbers (in parentheses) indicate where each recommendation can be found in the full report, along with victim stories and relevant findings from review teams. Full reports are available here.

2010: Up to Us

Domestic violence programs: Offer training about domestic violence and relevant state laws protecting domestic violence victims’ housing rights to local landlords, property managers, and housing authorities. (46)

Funders: Support and replicate innovative local programs that involve domestic violence advocates, landlords, and housing authorities collaborating to create permanent affordable housing specifically for domestic violence victims. Contact WSCADV to learn about model programs. (46)

Funders and domestic violence programs: Increase emphasis on services and strategies that support long-term economic stability and well-being beyond temporary, emergency needs. (46)

2008: Now That We Know

Local housing authorities should collaborate with and take guidance from domestic violence programs in planning how they will serve domestic violence victims as part of their five-year public housing agency (PHA) plans mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (47)

Local housing authorities should establish preference policies for domestic violence victims. (47)

Counties should monitor the implementation of their ten-year plans to address homelessness to assess whether the needs of homeless domestic violence victims are adequately addressed and modify the plan as necessary to meet those needs. (47)

The Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (CTED) should evaluate how counties’ ten-year plans to address homelessness meet the needs of homeless domestic violence victims. (47)

The Washington State Legislature should continue increases in funding for the Transitional Housing, Operations and Rent (THOR) program for transitional housing for domestic violence victims and should support other new and innovative housing programs. (47)

2006: If I Had One More Day…

Domestic violence programs should collaborate with people who routinely come into contact with homeless and transient individuals, such as food bank workers, railroad police, and community organizers, in order to build community capacity to provide this population with safety planning information and referrals to domestic violence resources. (61)

Housing organizations, from emergency shelters to long-term transitional housing programs and housing authorities, should evaluate policies that deny housing to people who use psychiatric medications to determine whether victims of domestic violence and their children are being adversely harmed by such policies, and coordinate with domestic violence programs to provide supportive services. (60)

2004: Every Life Lost Is a Call for Change

The Washington State Legislature should increase resources for domestic violence programs to provide material support for victims, such as childcare assistance, transportation, deposits for housing and attorney fees. (56)

2000: Honoring Their Lives, Learning from Their Deaths

Funding and support for subsidized housing should be expanded. (40)

Domestic violence programs should be supported in creating longer-term transitional housing programs. (40)