Permanent Exclusion at NYCHA Destroys Families, Legal Aid Charges
TUESDAY, JUNE 02, 2015

A story in City and State NY this weekend describes issues around the use by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) of permanent exclusion orders against household members who have been arrested.

Lucy Newman, Staff Attorney in the Law Reform Unit of the Civil Practice is quoted in the article. The story also appears in City Limits today.

Permanent Exclusion refers to a condition placed on a public housing family's tenancy in which an individual member of the household is removed from the household, may not even visit the apartment in the future and under which the remaining family members are forced to agree to unannounced visits by housing inspectors to check for the presence of the excluded individual for the duration of their tenancy. 4692 individuals have been excluded from NYCHA during the period 2007-2014. NYCHA routinely seeks permanent exclusion following a mere arrest of an individual household member, often for only minor offenses and in cases where criminal charges were dropped.

“Permanent exclusion is routinely imposed against individuals for minor offenses and even when criminal charges have been dropped,” she wrote in an email to City Limits. “Its impact can be devastating: breaking up families, forcing young men of color into homelessness and subjecting those who remain in the apartment to years of intrusive, humiliating, unannounced inspections. Every resident has a right to feel safe in his/her home, but there is no evidence to support NYCHA's position that exclusion needs to be permanent or that, in most instances, permanent exclusion is making anyone safer.”