"One-strike" refers to federal housing law and policy on eligibility for, and eviction from, federal public housing programs due to criminal convictions or activity.
The Impact of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA) on the Housing Rights and Options of Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
This Q&A document explains the key housing provisions of VAWA 2005, including housing-related grant programs, amendments to public housing and section 8 regarding eviction defense, eligibility, and portability, HMIS changes, and new planning requirements.
The brief gives examples of battered women faced with eviction due to their batterers' violent actions and discusses why this phenomenon is unsurprisingly under-reported. The brief also explains and debunks some common beliefs that people may have due to a misunderstanding of domestic violence such as that leaving a violent relationship is easy or that a survivor has the power to stop the perpetrator's violent behavior. Advocates may find this document helpful to explain how one-strike policies negatively affect survivors of domestic violence and how such acts discriminate against women.
This U.S. Supreme Court case is notable because it supports the idea that public housing authorities are required under U.S. law to have lease provisions that allow for eviction of tenant who is "innocent" of drug-related criminal activity, e.g. the tenant did not engage in the activity, did not know about the activity and/or it was not within their control. The Court explains that the U.S. Congress knew how to provide an "innocent owner" defense, but failed to do so in this instance.
Advocates will find this report helpful for its succinct and well-cited chapters on the right to adequate housing, "One Strike" federal policy development, local housing exclusions, and screening procedures. The report also covers the many difficulties people face in legal challenges to their exclusion from public housing. Human Rights Watch offers recommendations to Congress, HUD, PHAs, publicly funded legal services organizations and the United Nations.
Research focusing on violence against women in public housing is discussed, noting that research on this topic is limited. The history of the One Strike policy is given, the interpretation and enforcement of the One Strike policy by Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) is outlined and examples of the impact of the One Strike policy on battered women are provided. Possible amendments to the One Strike policy are discussed along with future research recommendations.
Available from: Contact the NRCDV at 800-537-2238.