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2-8-2007 New York:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth Donohue, and, Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), announced today that a special multi-agency task force found 78 convicted sex offenders living illegally in public housing.

The task force, comprised of a group of federal and New York law enforcement agencies, focused on identifying convicted sex offenders who have been placed on the sex offender registry permanently and are illegally living in public housing developments in New York City.
Of the estimated 3,000 sex offenders in New York City who have been court ordered to remain on the sex offender registry for life, less than 3 percent were found to reside in public housing developments.

Under federal law, public housing authorities must deny admission to individuals who are lifetime registrants of a sex offender list.
Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said, “DOI has no tolerance for convicted sex offenders illegally living in New York City’s public housing developments. We forged a strong partnership with HUD OIG and worked with other law enforcement agencies to locate and identify these individuals. As the agency that investigates corruption and fraud in New York City, we take this matter seriously.”

More than two years ago, an initiative called Operation Safe Housing was announced in New York City to reduce crime in public housing. The program includes seeking out registered sex offenders who claim they live in public housing and a special hearing process that expedites the eviction process for criminals who pose the greatest risk. As a result of the program, more than 200 registered sex offenders have been excluded from public housing. ..more.. by HUD News Release

-- Public Housing that is Federally Subsidized --
by eAdvocate

PUBLIC HOUSING: Sometimes cities have public housing that is not "federally subsidized," such public housing is not governed by federal laws (HUD Rules) and the following does not apply in such case. One must first find out if the public housing is "federally subsidized," only then is the following applicable.

There are two circumstances that come into play:
A) A registered sex offender (RSO) who lives alone; or,
B) A family who has a "household member" who is a RSO. Household member means one who is going to, or does, reside in the public housing unit.

One of the following must happen:
A) The family or the RSO is denied an application for housing; or,
B) Management is attempting to evict a RSO, or a family who has a household member that is a RSO.

Whether it is a denial of an application or an eviction, management must give a reason for their action. Usually they claim "federal law prohibits RSOs in public housing" and say no more. That reason is not sufficient. HUD rules clearly say when a application can be denied, or a resident may be evicted:

ONLY when the RSO is required to register for lifetime, under that state registry, can management, deny an application for housing, or evict the RSO or family that has a RSO household member.

The exact wording of the HUD Rules (5.856 and 5.905(d)) are shown below (as of 3-25-2007). However, given that rules and laws change constantly it is always wise to verify the rules. To verify the rules CLICK
When you get there, then click on "Title 24 - Code of Federal Regulations"

Choose "Browse," this is the first page of their rules.

Then scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on "NEXT LIST," you will be on page 2 of their rules, rule 5.856 is a little ways down the page it says "When must I prohibit admission of sex offenders? "
Rule 5.856: You (Public Housing Manager) must establish standards that prohibit admission to federally assisted housing if any member of the HOUSEHOLD is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a State sex offender registration program. In the screening of applicants, you must perform necessary criminal history background checks in the State where the housing is located and in other States where the HOUSEHOLD members are known to have resided. (See Sec. 5.905.)"

Rule 5.905(d): Opportunity to dispute. If a PHA obtains sex offender registration information from a State or local agency under paragraph (a) of this section showing that a household member is subject to a lifetime sex offender registration requirement, the PHA must notify the household of the proposed action to be based on the information and must provide the subject of the record, and the applicant or tenant, with a copy of such information, and an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the information. This opportunity must be provided before a denial of admission, eviction or lease enforcement action on the basis of such information.
Now, notice that rule 5.905(d) is only applicable WHEN a "application is denied" or WHEN management is "evicting" a RSO or a family who has a household member who is a RSO; and, the RSO must be required to register, under the state registry, for a lifetime.

In either case, there are time limits in which to file for an appeal, if one misses those time limts then there is no chance to appeal. Accordingly, once management notifies the RSO or the family, they should immediately goto management and request, the printed explanations for the appellate process, and ask for the time limits.

I would strongly suggest contacting an attorney or legal aid (which does handle evictions) and see what is the best course of action given the individual circumstances, which is usually different for everyone.

Good luck. eAdvocate

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