The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) plays a critical role in providing affordable housing, but it also discriminates against individuals and families who have been impacted by the criminal legal system. Under NYCHA’s current permanent exclusion policies, contact with the criminal legal system can result in a tenant’s eviction and a lifetime ban from all NYCHA housing. This devastating result can occur even if the tenant is not convicted of an offense or if the legal system involvement at hand poses no risk to other tenants.
How We Champion Change
The John Jay College Institute for Justice and Opportunity convenes a cross-section of housing, legal services, and criminal justice advocates to review NYCHA practices concerning permanent exclusion and ineligibility due to conviction histories. This group of engaged stakeholders is working to promote alternatives to eviction, permanent exclusion, and eligibility bars that would ultimately:
- Better serve public safety needs
- Preserve families
- Ensure that people with past criminal legal system involvement have access to fair proceedings and adequate representation