New York, NY  – December 15, 2014 

The Center Against Domestic Violence joined fellow domestic violence supporters on the steps of city hall on December 15, 2014 to show support for Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda’s announcement of the new proposed legislation to grant equal housing priority for victims of domestic violence. The new legislation will require N-0 equal housing priority for women residing in HRA domestic violence shelters.

It currently stands, that victims of domestic violence and intimidated witnesses do not have the same priority status as other homeless. Although there is a housing priority for victims of domestic violence and intimidated witnesses, it is not as high a priority as that given to homeless families. Even though families residing in domestic violence shelters are homeless, they are not eligible for the same homeless priority housing.

That is why Senator Klein is proposing to introduce this legislation to grant homeless domestic violence victims same equal housing preference as other homeless. As Senator Klein stated, “Domestic violence victims are being discriminated against within the homeless shelter program. The fact that they aren’t given the same preference – is ridiculous.” This will ease the transition for victims from domestic violence shelters, to regular housing. It will also help prevent victims from returning to their batterer, for fear of being completely homeless.

Judith Kahan, CEO of the Center Against Domestic Violence and founding co-chair of New York City’s Coalition of Domestic Violence Residential Service Providers, “wants NYCHA to open their doors to all battered women with the same housing preference as other homeless people.  We urge the legislature to pass Sen. Klein’s bill.”

35 years ago, the Center Against Domestic Violence was the first organization to work with NYCHA on making battered women a priority for public housing. It was of vital importance that women affected by domestic violence were granted equal access to housing from NYCHA once they leave the shelter. We have continued to fight for equal preference housing over these past 35 years; however, equal access priority has changed face within legislation throughout the years.

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The bill will be introduced in January. Please check back later for further information.