“One Strike and You’re Out”, the policy to make public housing safety, is inviting enough criticism from the housing advocates, social experts and the families.
According to the new set of federal public housing guidelines, the whole family will lose their house if one of its members is found engaged into a criminal activity.
The proposed rules are so much vulnerable for the complete family as they are liable to get evicted of their house even in the condition when the crime is committed elsewhere or they know nothing about it.
Three years ago, the federal government has urged for changes to the related policies hoping for a stable housing. But so far, the housing authorities countrywide have commenced only limited programs to ease the housing restrictions.
Wanda Coleman, a resident of the New York City public housing apartment, will be evicted along with her teen daughter any time now from their house, where they have been living for the past 25 years, partly because of her son’s involvement in a criminal case.
“Why should I be accountable for something that my son did that had nothing to do with my apartment?” asks 48-year-old Coleman.
Like Coleman there are many other people who are suffering the pain of going homeless under the new housing guidelines.
Under the federal guidelines set up in the 1990s, residents can be evicted from their homes, regardless of whether they have been arrested or convicted for their crimes.
According to the housing authority officials, the complete-family eviction policy aims at providing safety to all its residents.
“Different policies, like the new re-entry program, “apply to different resident groups. The overarching points are we have numerous policies aimed at preserving tenancy and at the same time we are committed to broader community safety as a whole,” spokeswoman Joan Lebow said.
On the contrary, the housing advocates believe the whole-family housing guidelines can pose dire consequences like breaking up families, making many homeless, sending many into depression and even increasing suicidal thoughts among them.