AOC and Kamala Harris want to reverse rule that evicts public housing tenants over felonies

Under new proposed legislation, public housing administrators would not be allowed to deny housing just because of a criminal record

Jul.July 10, 2019 02:21 PM
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris (Credit: Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris (Credit: Getty Images)

As democratic presidential candidates look to distinguish themselves from the pack and demonstrate their progressive bona fides, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris are teaming up to strengthen protections against housing discrimination.

The duo proposed a bill that would outlaw the so-called “one strike” rule, which has been on the books since 1996 when Bill Clinton ordered an eviction for anyone in public housing committing a violent or drug-related crime.

NYCHA Polo Grounds Houses (Credit: Getty Images)

NYCHA Polo Grounds Houses (Credit: Getty Images)

In effect, the legislation would prohibit Public Housing Authorities from denying housing only because a resident has a criminal record, The Root reported. It would also limit drug and alcohol testing by Public Housing Authorities, provide additional Section 8 funding for ex-offenders and kick in $10 million in additional funding for homeless service providers.

Critics of the law as it currently stands have said that it allows for entire families to be evicted for the misdeeds of one household member — or even a guest. And along with Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill, it is widely recognized that the law disproportionately affects communities of color.

The bill follows a May exchange between Ocasio-Cortez and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, when Carson stated that he was open to an alternative to the “one strike” rule. Ocasio-Cortez and Harris have wasted no time in testing Carson’s resolve. The proposed legislation also comes after Carson proposed a change that would lift an exemption to allow undocumented immigrants to live in public housing, a move that many say would displace tens of thousands of children. [The Root] — Georgia Kromrei

Related Articles

Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

“Rich people are going to get richer anyway”: HUD Secretary Ben Carson dismisses concerns that Opportunity Zones will only benefit rich people

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson and President Donald Trump (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Trump admin wants to spur affordable housing by easing local building restrictions

Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

HUD Secretary Ben Carson confuses REO with Oreos in congressional hearing

(Credit: iStock)

It’s over for Barneys: Luxury retailer to be sold, stores closed

Ribbon CEO Shaival Shah (Credit: iStock, Pixabay)

Ribbon raises $330M to aid all-cash buyers

(Credit: iStock)

S&P hits another record, but real estate stocks don’t follow suit

Soho House New York at  29-35 9th Avenue and Soho House CEO Nick Jones (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

It doesn’t turn a profit, but Soho House is now valued at $2B

Lenders issued the most mortgages in 14 years last quarter (Credit: iStock)

Nonbank lenders could give serious boost to cooling housing market