Emergency Transfer Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating, Sexual Assault, or Stalking
Housing Authority of the City of Rock Hill
Emergency Transfer Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking
The Housing Authority of the City of Rock Hill is concerned about the safety of its tenants, and such concern extends to tenants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. In accordance with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Housing Authority allows tenants who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to request an emergency transfer from the tenant's current unit to another unit. Also, a Housing Choice Voucher participant will be issued a new voucher to relocate to another unit. Participants receiving assistance through Project Based Vouchers (PBV) may be issued a tenant-based voucher, if available, to relocate to a safe unit. The ability to request a transfer is available to all tenants regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The ability of the Housing Authority to honor such request for tenants currently receiving assistance through Public Housing or Section 8 New Construction, however, may depend upon a preliminary determination that the tenant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and on whether the Housing Authority has another dwelling unit that is available and is safe to offer the tenant for temporary or more permanent occupancy.
This plan identifies tenants who are eligible for an emergency transfer, the documentation needed to request an emergency transfer, confidentiality protections, how an emergency transfer may occur, and guidance to tenants on safety and security. This plan is based on a model emergency transfer plan published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal agency that oversees that the Housing Authority of Rock Hill is in compliance with VAWA.
Eligibility for Emergency Transfers
A tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as provided in HUD's regulations at 24 CFR part 5, subpart L is eligible for an emergency transfer, if: (1) the tenant reasonably believes that there is a threat of imminent harm from further violence if the tenant remains within the same unit; or if (2) the tenant is a victim of sexual assault, the tenant may also be eligible to transfer if the sexual assault occurred on the premises within the 90 calendar day period preceding a request for an emergency transfer. A tenant requesting an emergency transfer must expressly request the transfer in accordance with the procedures described in this plan. Tenants who are not in good standing may still request an emergency transfer if they meet the eligibility requirements in this section.
Emergency Transfer Request Documentation
To request an emergency transfer, the tenant shall submit an Emergency Transfer Request for Certain Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking form (HUD-5383) or a written request for a transfer to the Housing Authority. Public Housing or Section 8 New Construction tenants should submit the form to their Asset Manager. Housing Choice Voucher participants should submit their form or request to their assigned Occupancy Specialist.
The Housing Authority will provide reasonable accommodations to this policy for individuals with disabilities. The tenant's written request for an emergency transfer should include either:
- A statement expressing that the tenant reasonably believes that there is a threat of imminent harm from further violence if the tenant were to remain in the same dwelling unit assisted under the Housing Authority; OR
- A statement that the tenant was a sexual assault victim and that the sexual assault occurred on the premises during the 90-calendar-day period preceding the tenant's request for an emergency transfer.
All requests for a VAWA emergency transfer must be submitted to the Operations
Manager for final review, approval, and record keeping purposes.
The Housing Authority will keep confidential any information that the tenant submits in requesting an emergency transfer, and information about the emergency transfer, unless the tenant gives the Housing Authority written permission to release the information on a time limited basis, or disclosure of the information is required by law or required for use in an eviction proceeding or hearing regarding termination of assistance from the covered program. This includes keeping confidential the new location of the dwelling unit of the tenant, if one is provided, from the person(s) that threatened to commit or committed an act(s) of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking against the tenant. Staff should refer to the Notice of Occupancy Rights under the Violence Against Women Act For All Tenants for more information about the Housing Authority's responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of information related to incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
Emergency Transfer Timing and Availability
The Housing Authority cannot guarantee that a transfer request will be approved or how long it will take to process a transfer request. The Housing Authority will, however, act as quickly as possible to move a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking to another unit, subject to availability and safety of a unit. If a tenant reasonably believes a proposed transfer would not be safe, the tenant may request a transfer to a different unit. If a unit is available, the transferred tenant must agree to abide by the terms and conditions that govern occupancy in the unit to which the tenant has been transferred. The Housing Authority may be unable to transfer a tenant to a particular unit if the tenant has not or cannot establish eligibility for that unit.
If the Housing Authority has no safe and available units for which a tenant who needs an emergency is eligible, the Housing Authority will assist the tenant in identifying other housing providers who may have safe and available units to which the tenant could move. The Housing Authority may provide a Housing Choice Voucher, if available, to the family if the tenant is in immediate need of relocation due to the nature of the violence and the level of danger presented to the family by the abuser.
At the tenant's request, the Housing Authority will also assist tenants in contacting the local organizations offering assistance to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking that are included in this plan.
Safety and Security of Tenants
Pending processing of the transfer and the actual transfer, if it is approved and occurs, the tenant is urged to take all reasonable precautions to be safe. If you are in an emergency situation, please call 911.
Tenants who are or have been victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking may contact the local domestic violence shelter, Safe Passage, Inc. at 803-329-2800 or 1-800-659-0977 or www.safepassagesc.org.
Tenants who are or have been victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for assistance in creating a safety plan. For persons with hearing impairments, that hotline can be accessed by calling 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
Tenants who have been victims of sexual assault may call the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network's (RAINN) National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE, or visit the online hotline at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/.
Tenants who are or have been victims of stalking seeking help may visit the National Center for Victims of Crime's Stalking Resource Center at https://www.victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/stalking-resource-center.
 Despite the name of this law, VAWA protection is available to all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
 Housing providers cannot discriminate on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or age. HUD-assisted and HUD-insured housing must be made available to all otherwise eligible individuals regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.