HUD Releases First-of-its-Kind Report to Congress on the Housing Needs of Survivors of Human Trafficking

By klrw460 March 21, 2024

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a report today assessing the availability and accessibility of housing and services for individuals at risk of or who have survived trafficking, experiencing homelessness or housing instability. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge emphasized the importance of a tailored approach to affordable housing, highlighting the report as a key tool for improving housing resources for survivors of human trafficking. Under Secretary Fudge’s and the Biden-Harris Administration’s leadership, Karlo Ng, HUD’s Director on Gender-based Violence Prevention and Equity, mentioned the focus on the housing needs of trafficking survivors. The report, titled “Housing Needs of Survivors of Human Trafficking Study,” responds to the requirements of Section 606 of the 2022 Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. It is the result of over 18 months of stakeholder engagement and collaboration with federal partners, including the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking and the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking.

The study aimed to centralize survivors’ experiences and service providers’ insights, revealing the necessity for trust-building between housing/service providers and survivors for effective outreach and engagement. The report outlines the overwhelming demand for housing assistance relative to available resources and details the challenges posed by the complexity and disconnection of housing assistance and service systems. It also points out barriers such as documentation requirements, criminal records, and discrimination, which hinder survivors’ access to housing. The report concludes with the effectiveness of trauma-informed, survivor-centered program models that accommodate the diverse backgrounds and needs of survivors.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, HUD has initiated efforts to lower access barriers to housing, increase rental assistance, and address housing discrimination, ensuring the support of survivors through various measures. These include the issuance of new vouchers, an action plan to remove barriers for individuals with criminal records, and efforts to highlight positive rental history in home loan assessments. HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity plays a critical role in eliminating discrimination and bias in housing, upholding the 1968 Fair Housing Act’s commitments.

For the full details and insights, please refer to the original press release at the following link: