The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the largest public housing authority in the United States with nearly 180,000 units housing nearly 400,000 low-income individuals and families in 334 developments throughout the city.

You may remember my last article on NYCHA from back in October of 2018. In that I reported on NYCHA’s permanent exclusion policy that would not let anyone with the slightest involvement with the law live in their public housing. This destroys families and prevents justice-involved individuals from establishing a base to get themselves on their feet. From the February 2019 PRI website: “This policy has resulted in thousands of people who cannot live with, or even visit, their families who live in public housing, with harsh effects on the young and old alike. Youth under the age of 18 can be excluded from public housing even if their families – who are legally responsible for them – are still living in NYCHA, and even if they have nowhere else to go. Many elderly residents have also been forced to exclude family members who act as their caretakers, leaving them without the vital assistance they need to manage the tasks of daily living.” This includes the mentally ill.

Jarrett Murphy, editor of newsletter, reported these things back on April 19, 2017. He also told us of an investigation done by New York City’s Dept. of Investigation (DOI) that criticized NYCHA’s “leniency” in evicting justice-involved individuals. “DOI recommended NYCHA prosecute these cases more aggressively, request evictions in more cases and consider letting armed law-enforcement officers – rather than NYCHA staff – inspect apartments for banned people.”

“NYCHA has an obligation to protect residents of its buildings,” DOI commissioner Mark Peters said in a statement that accompanied the report. The Daily News piled on with him against NYCHA.

From the newsletter: “But advocates see a different reality, one in which NYCHA’s reluctance to evict families caught up in the criminal justice system is a lot more sensible than creating hundreds of new clients for the homeless shelter system.” Advocacy groups urged NYCHA and the City Council to reject the “misguided and irresponsible approach to safety” espoused by DOI.

Fast forward. There was a panel on this matter titled “Locked Out” held February 6, 2019. From the PRI February 2019 newsletter: “The panel explored the legal aspects of the policy, the broader context of policing in NYCHA, and the perspectives of the NYCHA residents.”

More to come.