Q: I was in a dv situation where I had to relocate and leave my home. Rochester housing authority didn’t recognize my dv

Section 8 refused to allow me to move and I had to return to Rochester and pay my landlord to let me move and keep my section 8. My landlord even attempted to sue me for late fees while I was staying with family hiding from my abuser. Also the fire investigation department and the RPD did nothing except accuse me of wrong doing. And with my mental health I am just not coming back to a place to hold them accountable. Is there anything I can do to enforce my rights maybe under DV housing law or disability law due to my mental health being an issue for multiple years of my life.

I appreciate any advise or guidance. Thank you

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations involving domestic violence (DV) and housing, there are legal protections in place, but navigating them can be complex. Under federal law, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers certain protections for victims of DV living in federally assisted housing, which includes Section 8 vouchers.

Given your circumstances, it's important to understand that VAWA allows for an emergency transfer to another housing unit if you're facing a DV situation. The Rochester Housing Authority should be compliant with these provisions. If they haven't recognized your situation, it's a concern that needs addressing.

Additionally, your mental health concerns may also provide grounds for certain accommodations under disability laws. Both federal and New York state laws offer protections for individuals with disabilities, which can include mental health issues.

To enforce your rights, you might want to consider reaching out to a local attorney who is knowledgeable in DV and housing law, as well as disability rights. They can offer specific advice based on your situation and help you navigate the legal process to seek the protection and accommodations you are entitled to.

Remember, each case has its own nuances, so it's crucial to get advice tailored to your specific circumstances. Seeking legal help can provide you with the guidance and support needed to address these challenges effectively.

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