Domestic violence victims get priority in public housing in Oswego

Oswego Rental Assistance Program.

The City of Oswego will put domestic violence victims at the top of the wait list for HUD Section 8 rental assistance housing.

Mayor Billy Barlow signed an executive order on Tuesday putting victims of domestic violence in the highest priority ranking category for the housing placement system.

"Victims of domestic violence typically need to find alternative housing or a new place to live quickly to escape from falling back into the situation that they're in," Mayor Barlow said.

The elderly, disabled families and military veterans are also high on the priority list.

The executive order is framed around Federal HUD guidelines. Victims need to be referred by a third party like a resource center where they are already seeking help. They will also need to fill out federal paperwork documenting a specific incident involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Director of Oswego's rental assistance program, Nathan Emmons, said right now the wait for housing isn't too bad.

"Our waiting list is a couple months at this point. We can help folks fairly quickly at this point," Emmons said.

Adding domestic violence victims to the priority list for public housing was recommended by HUD and Oswego is proud to take their recommendation.

"That is certainly one group that I feel very compassionate about and we're trying to provide them an opportunity to help them as quickly as we could," Emmons said.

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