WELCOME TO THE HOUSING RESOURCE CENTER ONLINE

Survivors of domestic violence have housing rights under local and federal laws. These rights are meant to ensure that survivors have access to shelter or housing and can live safely in their homes or their current housing situation.

DASH developed toolkits and sample letters to help advocates and survivors understand and apply these housing rights so that survivors have safe housing options, including: remaining in their apartments by obtaining lock changes or removing the abuser from the lease, moving out by breaking the lease or obtaining a safety transfer; or finding a new place to live – be it a shelter, apartment or house.

Support for Survivors

If you are a survivor of domestic violence facing homelessness as a result of the violence, this toolkit [PDF] is designed to heighten your awareness of housing protections afforded to you. This toolkit tells you:

  • What to do if you want to stay where you are
  • What to do if you want to leave your home
  • What to do if you need to find safe housing
  • Who can help you

Survivor Toolkit, Spanish / Un conjunto de herramientas para usted [PDF]

You can use these tables to quickly find what you need to advocate for your right to safe housing:

If this is your situation… Here’s what you can do: And how to do it:
You have been discriminated against by a housing or shelter provider File a complaint with the DC Office of Human Rights Click here to file a Complaint Intake Form
You have been discriminated against while trying to rent or buy a home or apartment File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Send a letter using the language in this sample letter
You have been discriminated against by a shelter, Section 8 housing, service provider or government agency File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Send a letter using the language in this sample letter
You are a resident of or applicant for DCHA public housing, Section 8, or other subsidized housing and feel they have done something that affects your rights First try to resolve the problem with your Housing Manager or the office involved. If that doesn’t work, write to the DCHA Office of Fair Hearings DCHA contact information
You live in public housing and need to request reasonable accommodations for disabilities Fill out the DCHA Reasonable Request for Accommodation form Click here for where to get the forms

To Change Your Lease

If this is your situation… Here’s what you can do: And how to do it:
You want to end your lease and you have a protection order Send a letter using the language in this sample letter Be sure to include a copy of the protection order
You want to end your lease and you have a document signed by a qualified third party Send a letter using the language in this sample letter Be sure to include a copy of the signed document
You want to take someone off your lease Send a letter using the language in this sample letter

To Change Your Lock

If this is your situation… Here’s what you can do: And how to do it:
You want your locks changed and you have a protection order Send a letter using the language in this sample letter Be sure to include a copy of the protection order
You want your locks changed because you want to keep out someone who has harmed you Send a letter using the language in this sample letter
If you asked to have your locks changed five business days ago and they have not been changed yet: Send a letter using the language in this sample letter

Information for DV Advocates

As an advocate, your role is to provide information and resources to victims. This Toolkit [PDF] has the information you need to help you understand the basic housing rights of victims of domestic violence and gives you information to help victims get help.

Need More Help?

If you you’re not finding what you need or you want more information about safe housing rights and resources, please contact us at DASH’s Housing Resource Center:

Phone: (202) 462-3274 ext. 104 or 102
E-mail:
info@dashdc.org

Legal Resources

If you need legal advice or services with housing/shelter issues these organizations can help:

Housing Counseling Resources

These organizations can help you with housing issues if you need to stay or leave the home.

Additional Government Resources

These government agencies can help you with additional housing/shelter issues.

  • Rental Housing Commission
    • Enforces the Rental Housing Act of 1985 and decides appeals from the Rent Administrator and the Office of Administrative Hearings.
      • (202) 442-8949
  • Office of the Tenant Advocate
    • The Office of the Tenant Advocate helps tenants understand the Rental Housing Act of 1985 (rent control) and the Rental Housing Conversion and Sale Act of 1980. The documents and links on the website will help tenants understand their rights and the processes for ensuring they are treated fairly under the law.
      • (202) 442-8359
  • Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Services
    • The Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Service is a good place to start when tenants think they might have a problem with their landlord or housing provider. This Service tells tenants about their rights and resources, shows them effective ways to resolve the problem on their own, and helps them find exactly which services would be best.
      • Tenants can:
        • Call (202) 879-1549 and ask to speak with a Dispute Resolution Specialist
        • Fax questions or documents to (202) 879-9458
        • Visit their office at:
          515 5th Street NW
          Suite 114
          Washington, DC 20001
          (Use the Police Memorial Entrance at Judiciary Square metro station.)