H.R.3752 - Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims' Housing Act107th Congress (2001-2002)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9] (Introduced 02/13/2002)|
|Committees:||House - Financial Services|
|Latest Action:||10/02/2002 Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (All Actions)|
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Introduced in House (02/13/2002)
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 3752 Introduced in House (IH)] 107th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 3752 To provide housing assistance to domestic violence victims. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 13, 2002 Ms. Schakowsky (for herself, Ms. Millender-McDonald, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Frank, Ms. Jackson-Lee of Texas, Mrs. Mink of Hawaii, Mr. McGovern, Mrs. Maloney of New York, Mr. Houghton, Mr. Honda, Mr. Jackson of Illinois, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, Mr. Waxman, Ms. Slaughter, Mr. Lantos, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. George Miller of California, Ms. Pelosi, Mrs. Lowey, Ms. Solis, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Frost, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Baldacci, Mr. Sandlin, Mr. McHugh, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Gillmor, Mr. Skelton, Ms. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Owens, Mrs. Jones of Ohio, Ms. Norton, Mr. Filner, Mr. Sanders, Mrs. Thurman, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Evans, Mr. Allen, Mr. Rothman, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Green of Texas, Ms. Hooley of Oregon, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Clement, Ms. Lee, Mr. Jefferson, Mrs. Christensen, Mrs. Clayton, Mr. Boswell, Ms. Waters, Ms. Berkley, Mr. Blagojevich, Mrs. Capps, Mr. Reyes, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Mr. Holt, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Olver, Ms. McKinney, Ms. Sanchez, Ms. Hart, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Brown of Florida, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Underwood, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Bonior, Mr. Engel, Mr. Stark, Mr. Capuano, Mr. Borski, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Ms. Kilpatrick, Mr. McNulty, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Israel, Mr. Matsui, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Mr. Moran of Virginia, Ms. McCarthy of Missouri, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Fattah, Mr. Baird, Mr. Wu, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. Rush, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Spratt, Mr. Udall of New Mexico, Mr. Hoyer, Ms. Woolsey, Mr. Faleomavaega, Mr. Wexler, Mrs. Meek of Florida, Ms. Kaptur, Ms. Lofgren, Ms. Velazquez, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Ford, and Mr. Clay) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide housing assistance to domestic violence victims. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims' Housing Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds as follows: (1) Victims of rape, incest, and other forms of sexual assault are frequently forced suddenly from their own homes for safety reasons. Such victims have included women desperately trying to protect their children from continued sexual abuse by other family members, women attending college who are pressured to leave school following a rape, young women being sold into prostitution by their fathers or husbands, women who are undocumented aliens feeling trapped and living in fear of being deported if they seek help, women being afraid to return to apartment buildings where they have been raped, and teenagers running away from home to escape incest. (2) All of these women and children, and many more in similar situations, would greatly benefit from making available transitional housing that offers immediate safety and connections to other appropriate services. Without such housing, they are often left in dangerous circumstances or left homeless and subject to additional victimization. (3) Housing can prevent domestic violence and mitigate its effects. The connection between domestic violence and housing is overwhelming. Of all homeless women and children, 50 percent are fleeing domestic violence. (4) Among cities surveyed, 44 percent identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness. (5) Women's poverty levels aggravate the problems of homelessness and domestic violence. Two out of three poor adults are women. Female-headed households are six times poorer than male-headed households. In 1996, of the 7,700,000 poor families in the country, 4,100,000 of them were single female- headed households. In addition, 5,100,000 poor women who are not in families are poor. (6) Almost 50 percent of the women who receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds cite domestic violence as a factor in the need for assistance. (7) Many women who flee violence are forced to return to their abusers because of inadequate shelter or lack of money. Even if they leave their abusers to go to a shelter, they often return home because the isolation from familiar surroundings, friends, and neighborhood resources makes them feel even more vulnerable. Shelters and transitional housing facilities are often located far from a domestic violence victim's neighborhood. While this placement may be deliberate to protect domestic violence victims from their abusers, it can also be intimidating and alienating for a woman to leave her home, community, cultural support system, and all that she knows for shelter way across town. Thus, women of color and immigrant women are less likely to become shelter residents. (8) Women who do leave their abusers lack adequate emergency shelter options. The overall number of emergency shelter beds for homeless people is estimated to have decreased by an average of 3 percent in 1997 while requests for shelter increased on the average by 3 percent. Emergency shelters struggle to meet the increased need for services with about 32 percent of the requests for shelter by homeless families going unmet. In fact 88 percent of cities reported having to turn away homeless families from emergency shelters due to inadequate resources for services. (9) Battered women and their children comprise an increasing proportion of the emergency shelter population. (10) A stable, sustainable home base is crucial for women who have left situations of domestic violence and are learning new job skills, participating in educational programs, working full-time jobs, or searching for adequate child care in order to gain self-sufficiency. Transitional housing resources and services provide a continuum between emergency shelter provision and independent living. SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. The amount authorized to be appropriated under section 429(a) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11389(a)) shall be increased by $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2003 and by such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2007. SEC. 4. USE OF AMOUNTS FOR HOUSING ASSISTANCE FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, STALKING, OR ADULT OR CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT. (a) Housing Assistance.--Any additional amounts made available, pursuant to section 3 of this Act, under section 429 of the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11389) shall be available to the Secretary only to provide assistance to qualified organizations for the purpose of providing, on behalf only of eligible individuals or families (as provided under subsection (b))-- (1) supportive housing (as such term is defined in section 422 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11382)); (2) tenant-based rental assistance; (3) financial assistance for a security deposit, first month's rent, or ongoing rental assistance; or (4) project-based transitional housing, except that such assistance may be used only to cover expenses of renovation, repair, conversion and operation of such housing. (b) Eligible Individuals and Families.--An eligible individual or family under this subsection is an individual or family that meets both of the following requirements: (1) Domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault.--The individual or family has been victimized by domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault (as such terms are defined in section 9 of this Act). (2) Leaving residence.--The qualified organization providing the housing assistance pursuant to subsection (a) for which the individual or family is applying has determined that the individual or member of the family who was a victim of the domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault reasonably believes that relocation from such residence will assist in avoiding future domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault against such individual or another member of the family. SEC. 5. MATCHING REQUIREMENT. Each qualified organization receiving assistance under this Act shall supplement such assistance with a 25 percent match of funds for supportive services (as such term is defined in section 422 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11382)) from sources other than this Act. Each such organization shall certify to the Secretary its compliance with this section and shall include with the certification a description of the sources and amounts of such supplemental funds. SEC. 6. ALLOCATION. (a) Competition.--Amounts made available pursuant to this Act shall be allocated by the Secretary, among qualified organizations that submit applications to the Secretary, under a national competition based on demonstrated need for such assistance, including the extent of service provided to underserved populations (as such term is defined in section 2003 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796gg-2)) and the ability to undertake and carry out a program under this Act, as the Secretary shall determine. (b) Set Aside for Indian Tribes.--Of the total funds appropriated pursuant to section 3 for any of the enumerated fiscal years, at least 10 percent shall be used for grants to Indian tribes or Indian tribal organizations that provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, or permanent housing or supportive services to individuals or families victimized by domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault. Indian tribes or Indian tribal organizations that receive such grants may apply for and receive other grants from the total funds appropriated under this Act. All other grants awarded shall go to qualified organizations. (c) Reallotment.--If, at the end of the 6th month of any fiscal year for which sums are appropriated pursuant to section 3, the total amount appropriated has not been obligated under subsection (a) to qualified organizations for purposes under such subsection, the Secretary shall reallot the remaining amount to qualified organizations that are eligible for funding under subtitle C of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11381-11389) for use for the purposes under such subtitle. Funds made available by the Secretary through reallotment under the preceding sentence shall remain available for expenditure until the end of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which such funds become available for reallotment. SEC. 7. APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS. The Secretary shall provide for qualified organizations to apply for assistance under this Act and shall require that such an application shall-- (1) contain such certifications as the Secretary shall require to ensure that-- (A) the applicant organization, to the extent practicable, has entered into cooperative agreements or memoranda of understanding with homeless coalitions, public housing authorities, and community-based agencies that represent underserved populations to establish procedures for facilitating referrals to transitional housing and for implementing tenant-based housing assistance programs; and (B) any construction or physical improvements carried out with assistance amounts under this Act will comply with any applicable housing, safety, and licensing codes, laws, or regulations of the State or local government in which the structure is located; and (2) describe how the services to be provided with assistance under this Act will assist victims of domestic violence in obtaining permanent housing. SEC. 8. CONFIDENTIALITY. A qualified organization may not be provided assistance under this Act unless the organization agrees to ensure the confidentiality of-- (1) the names of individuals and their dependents assisted with services or in facilities funded, in whole or in part, with such amounts; and (2) any other information regarding such individuals and dependents, except to the extent such information is otherwise required by law to be disclosed. SEC. 9. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this Act: (1) Domestic violence.--The term ``domestic violence'' includes acts or threats of violence or extreme cruelty (as such term is referred to in section 216 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1186a)), not including acts of self- defense, committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim has a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim, by a person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, or by any other person against a victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction. (2) Family victimized by domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault.-- (A) In general.--The term ``family victimized by domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault'' means a family or household that includes an individual who has been determined under subparagraph (B) to have been a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault, but does not include any individual described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) who committed the domestic violence, sexual assault, or adult or child sexual assault. The term includes any such family or household in which only a minor or minors are the individual or individuals who was or were a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault only if such family or household also includes a parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or other responsible caretaker for the child. (B) Determination that family or individual was a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault.--For purposes of subparagraph (A), a determination under this subparagraph is a determination that domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault has been committed, which is made by any agency or official of a State, Indian tribe, tribal organization, or unit of general local government based upon-- (i) information provided by any medical, legal, counseling, or other clinic, shelter, sexual assault program or other program or entity licensed, recognized, or authorized by the State, Indian tribe, tribal organization, or unit of general local government to provide services to victims of domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault; (ii) information provided by any agency of the State, Indian tribe, tribal organization, unit of general local government, or qualified organization that provides or administers the provision of social, medical, legal, or health services; (iii) information provided by any clergy; (iv) information provided by any hospital, clinic, medical facility, or doctor licensed or authorized by the State, Indian tribe, tribal organization, or unit of general local government to provide medical services; (v) a petition, application, or complaint filed in any State, Federal, or tribal court or administrative agency, documents or records of action or decision of any court, law enforcement agency, or administrative agency, including any record of any protective order, injunction, or temporary or final order issued by civil or criminal courts, any self-petition or any police report; or (vi) any other reliable evidence that domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault has occurred. A victim's statement that domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault has occurred shall be sufficient unless the agency has an independent, reasonable basis to find the individual not credible. (3) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian Tribe'' shall have the same meaning given the term in section 2003 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796gg- 2). (4) Qualified organization.--The term ``qualified organization'' means a private, nongovernmental organization that-- (A) is organized, or has as its primary purposes, to provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, or permanent housing for victims of domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault or is a medical, legal, counseling, social, psychological, health, job training, educational, life skills development, or other social services program for victims of domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault that undertakes a collaborative project with a qualified, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that primarily provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, or permanent housing for low- income people; (B) is organized under State, tribal, or local laws; (C) has no part of its net earnings inuring to the benefit of any member, shareholder, founder, contributor, or individual; (D) is approved by the Secretary as to financial responsibility; and (E) demonstrates experience in providing services to victims of domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault. (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. (6) Sexual assault.--The term ``sexual assault'' means any conduct proscribed by chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code, whether or not the conduct occurs in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, on an Indian reservation, or in a Federal prison and includes both assaults committed by offenders who are strangers to the victims and assaults committed by offenders who are known to the victims or related by blood or marriage to the victim. (7) Stalking.--The term ``stalking'' means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear death, sexual assault, or bodily injury to himself or herself or a member of his or her immediate family, when the person engaging in such conduct has knowledge or should have knowledge that the specific person will be placed in reasonable fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury to himself or herself or a member of his or her immediate family and when the conduct induces fear in the specific person of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury to himself or herself or a member of his or her immediate family. (8) State.--The term ``State'' means the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and any other territory or possession of the United States. (9) Transitional housing.--The term ``transitional housing'' includes short-term housing and has the meaning given such term in section 424(b) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11384(b)). (10) Tribal organization.--The term ``tribal organization'' means a private, nonprofit, nongovernmental, or tribally chartered organization-- (A) whose primary purpose is to provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, or permanent housing or supportive services to individuals or families victimized by domestic violence, stalking, or adult or child sexual assault; (B) that operates within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation; and (C) whose board of directors reflects the population served. (11) Unit of general local government.--The term ``unit of general local government'' has the meaning given the term in section 102(a) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5302(a)). <all>