CDA: One Strike and You’re Out For Lawbreakers
by Brandi Makuski City-Times Editor
The CDA has formally created a policy that makes it easier terminating the leases of residents from the HI Rise and other city- owned property who break the law.
Community Development Authority Director Michael Ostrowski said the policy became a necessity to ensure safety of residents who receive public housing.
“We want to ensure those who engage in illegal drug, violent criminal and/ or history of criminal history are not allowed to live in subsidized housing,” Ostrowski said.
Once a resident of public housing has been charged with a crime, Ostrowski said the resident would be formally notified of lease termination through the mail. Residents with spouses or adult children found in violation of the policy would have their names removed from the lease and forced to leave the home.
One resident who lives in subsidized housing says she’s afraid the new policy could be used arbitrarily.
“My concern is, this act would be used on a whim to kick us out,” said Mary Pitchelman, a public housing resident.
“What about self- defense- would this be considered an act of violence that could get us kicked out?” She asked.
“This law is written with enough specificity that it would have to be a specific event, something to do with the law,” said Mayor Andrew Halverson.
“Normally, this would mean something illegal, and something with which you are being charged.”
Officials say the policy has been effective in other municipalities and also includes a grievance progress for residents who wish to appeal.
“This is one of my favorites,” said Halverson.
“Our goal with this [policy] is to prevent this type of unacceptable behavior for residents who otherwise follow the law.”