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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

House Passes Beatty Legislation to Improve Housing Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking

Sep 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Trafficking Survivors Housing Act of 2021, a piece of legislation authored by U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03).

“Every year, the State Department estimates that nearly 25 million people are victims of human trafficking, the vast majority of whom are women and girls,” Beatty said. “Housing discrimination is often the number one concern of survivors, and all too often forces them to stay with their abusers. This harmful practice must be stopped, and I am proud to see my Congressional colleagues joining me to stand up for survivors. Now I call on all Senators to do the same: support the Trafficking Survivors Housing Act, because one victim is one too many.”

Currently, there is a severe shortage of affordable housing nationally and, due to funding limitations, federal rental assistance reaches just 25 percent of eligible households. In fact, the U.S. Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking reported that “sustainable housing is a significant issue in achieving long-term recovery and self-sufficiency for human trafficking survivors.”

Passed as part of an en bloc amendment, the legislation now moves to the Senate where it will await further action.  If enacted, the Trafficking Survivors Housing Act would require the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to commission a study and report in partnership with federal agencies, survivors, and the organizations that serve them on the availability and accessibility of homelessness and housing services for survivors of trafficking. The study would specifically:

  • review the effectiveness of current policy and procedures and report on their impact around the ability to provide sustainable, affordable, and safe housing options for survivors of trafficking, including families of minor victims and youth in foster care;
  • build on trauma-informed and evidence-based frameworks to assess the capacity of mainstream housing services to meet the distinct and specialized needs of both labor and sex trafficking survivors, including survivors with disability-related needs; and
  • identify barriers to and best practices for meeting the housing and service needs of survivors of trafficking.