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Emergency Housing Vouchers Help New Jersey’s Homeless and Victims of Crime


Recently, New Jersey received new Section 8 vouchers for people who are experiencing homelessness or near homelessness, or people who are fleeing domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking. Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) were issued to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs with funding from the federal American Rescue Plan. While most of the 1,000 vouchers will be issued by the Department of Community Affairs, a few dozen will be distributed by local public housing authorities. Applicants will be identified and referred from one of New Jersey’s Continuums of Care to the appropriate housing agency.

Ongoing violence in the home or hu-man trafficking can easily affect stability in a person’s life. An EHV aids recovery because it remains valid for up to 10 years.

Am I Eligible?

The first step is understanding the eligibility requirements. Applicants must:

  • Identify as homeless, recently homeless, in imminent risk of homelessness; or must be fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
  • Have a government-issued identification card.
  • Have birth certificates for everyone in the household (or proof they were ordered).
  • Have Social Security cards for everyone in the household (or proof they were ordered).
  • Provide proof of income, bank records, and assets.

If you have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking and are currently in a safehouse, you qualify because you are fleeing violence. If you live with abuse in the home and have not left yet, you may also qualify. Imminent risk of homelessness is determined by local regulations, based on your income.

EHVs are available only to citizens or authorized immigrants. Some families with mixed immigration status may be considered.

This voucher is different from “emergency assistance” offered through the WorkFirst New Jersrey program because applicants do not undergo an assessment at the local board of social services. Instead, a community agency focused on domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking can certify your experiences and connect you to the public housing authority that distributes vouchers, saving you from sharing painful experiences multiple times. Unlike “emergency assistance,” however, limited vouchers are available.

How Do I Apply?

If you are a current LSNJ client:

  • Experiencing human trafficking – call 1-844-LSNJ-PROTECT.
  • Experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or homelessness – call 1-888-LSNJ-LAW.

If you are not a current LSNJ client: