Keep Safe Housing

As a survivor of domestic violence, you have the option to stay in your current apartment or house. Below are legal and financial resources to help you navigate the process.

Emergency Rental Assistance

Emergency Rental Assistance

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps low-income District residents facing housing emergencies. The program provides funding for overdue rent if a qualified household is facing eviction (including late costs and court fees). The program also supports security deposits and first month’s rent for residents moving to new apartments. For information on receiving emergency rental assistance click here or go to the DC Department of Human Services Page.

Energy Assistance

Energy Assistance

The Department of the Environment helps eligible District residents pay heating and cooling bills. If you’re eligible, you can receive between a one-time $250 and $1,500 credit for your household. The amount of credit is based on household size, total household income, heating source, and type of dwelling.

To learn more about how to apply click here

Change Your Lease

Change Your Lease

The 2005 Violence Against Women Act gives survivors of domestic violence the right to bifurcate their lease, removing their abuser. Click here to access a letter to send you landlord requesting bifurcation. You may be asked to provide documentation such as a lady from an advocate or court or policy documents.

Change Your Locks

Change Your Locks
  • If you have a protection order you are legally entitled to change your locks even if your abuser is on the lease. Use this sample letter to request a lock change from your landlord.
  • If your abuser is not on the lease you have the legal right to request a lock change from you landlord at any time. Your landlord or property manager is responsible for the changing the locks within 5 days or request. Use this sample letter to request lock changes, and this letter is you landlord has taken more than 5 business days to change the locks.