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Keep Safe Housing

As a survivor of domestic violence, you have the option to stay in your current apartment or home. DASH advocates are here for you to navigate the process and talk through your housing rights and options to stay safe.

For more information, connect with an advocate at 202-290-2356.

Below are additional legal and financial resources to help you navigate the process.

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 & Utility Assistance

The DC 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

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 to your landlord requesting bifurcation. You may be asked to provide documentation such as a letter from an advocate or court or policy documents.

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 your landlord at any time. Your landlord or property manager is responsible for changing the locks within 5 business days of the request. Use this sample letter to request lock changes, and this letter if your landlord has taken more than 5 business days to change the locks.

General Housing Inquiries

Virginia Williams: 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE.

Phone: (202) 526-0017

The Virginia Williams Family Resource Center is a service center for families living in the DC area. Families who are experiencing housing instability can visit Virginia Williams to apply for Emergency Rental Assistance and temporary shelter as well as TANF and Food Stamps. Placing a call or meeting with someone from Virginia Williams is a good first step for those looking for housing.

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District Alliance for Safe Housing | PO Box 91730 Washington, DC 20090
202-462-3274 | info@dashdc.org | 501(c)(3) | #71-1019574