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Mayor Barlow Issues Executive Order Prioritizing Housing for Domestic Violence Victims

City of Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow issued an executive order today putting victims of domestic violence in the highest priority ranking category for the housing placement system in the City of Oswego HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance Program. The City of Oswego Rental Assistance Office uses a prioritized ranking system to place individuals on HUD, a system Mayor
Barlow and the Oswego Common Council overhauled late last year. The ranking system is used to organize a waiting list for housing through HUD in the City of Oswego and dictates where on the waiting list an individual is placed until housing becomes available. Mayor Barlow's executive order places victims of domestic violence into the highest prioritization category, expediting the process to find victims housing. 

"Victims of domestic violence often need to seek new housing urgently and under chaotic or dangerous circumstances," said Mayor Billy Barlow. "Placing victims of domestic violence higher on our priority ranking will help to quickly accommodate an individual and can prevent that individual from continuing to live in a dangerous, hostile situation. The City of Oswego HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance Program was re-designed and our ranking system was altered in an effort to help individuals graduate out of any unfortunate situation they may find themselves in. My executive order is consistent with our overall approach to HUD housing and can help victims of domestic violence find safe, alternative housing," Barlow continued. "It is also common for adverse factors stemming from domestic violence like poor rental history, poor credit history, or a criminal record makes finding housing more difficult and this order can help mitigate against those effects as well," Barlow said. 

The Executive Order (No.2018-01) is modeled after the standard Federal HUD guidelines and requires victims to either submit documentation related to a specific incident involving domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, may be referred by another agency or may be referred by a third party. Mayor Barlow's executive order places victims of domestic violence in the same priority ranking category as the non-working elderly, disabled families and military veterans. 

City of Oswego Section 8 Rental Assistance Program Director Nathan Emmons praised the executive order saying "I applaud Mayor Barlow's leadership on such a critical issue. By allowing for such a change, we are able to work more quickly and diligently to provide safe housing for individuals and families in their most challenging times. As a result of this executive order, we've developed new processes and procedures to implement this addition to our housing placement system to better serve victims of domestic violence," Emmons said. 

The City of Oswego HUD Section 8 Rental Assistance Program office is located at 159 Liberty Street, Oswego. The office is open from 9am-5pm and can be reached at 315-343-3452. 

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