Harrisburg – October 17, 2018 — Today Senate Bill 919, relocating victims of domestic violence in public housing, passed by a vote of 179-2 in the Pennsylvania House and awaits Governor Wolf’s signature.
Sponsored by Sen. Art Haywood (D- Montgomery/Philadelphia) and co-prime sponsored by Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-Beaver, Washington, Greene) and Judy Schwank (D-Berks), SB 919 ensures relocation options to victims of domestic violence who reside in public housing.
“I am pleased that we can provide safety measures to victims of domestic violence that live in public housing. I appreciate of both my colleagues and the advocates for their work in helping pass this bill into law,” Sen. Haywood said. “Survivors now have mobility options that otherwise could have been threatened. This is an historic Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.”
“Current law does not allow local authorities to adequately protect victims, even when the abuser still poses a real threat to the victim’s safety,” Sen. Bartolotta said. “This bill offers a pathway for housing authorities to help victims who would otherwise be trapped in a dangerous situation.”
“Leaving an abusive relationship can be incredibly difficult for victims of domestic or sexual violence,” Sen. Schwank said. “Having to leave your home – a place where you should feel secure – in order to be safe adds more stress to an already difficult situation. On top of that, finding quality, affordable housing is even harder. This legislation will help ease that burden of finding new, affordable housing for victims who live in public housing.”
Advocates celebrated alongside the Senator and praised him for his work to create safe places for survivors of domestic violence to live.