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Title 24

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Title 24

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Subpart I - Preventing Crime in Federally Assisted Housing - Denying Admission and Terminating Tenancy for Criminal Activity or Alcohol Abuse
Source:

66 FR 28792, May 24, 2001, unless otherwise noted.

General
§ 5.850 Which subsidized housing is covered by this subpart?

(a) If you are the owner of federally assisted housing, your federally assisted housing is covered, except as provided in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section.

(b) If you are operating public housing, this subpart does not apply, but similar provisions applicable to public housing units are found in parts 960 and 966 of this title. If you administer tenant-based assistance under Section 8 or you are the owner of housing assisted with tenant-based assistance under Section 8, this subpart does not apply to you, but similar provisions that do apply are located in part 982 of this title.

(c) If you own or administer housing assisted by the Rural Housing Administration under section 514 or section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949, this subpart does not apply to you.

§ 5.851 What authority do I have to screen applicants and to evict tenants?

(a) Screening applicants. You are authorized to screen applicants for the programs covered by this part. The provisions of this subpart implement statutory directives that either require or permit you to take action to deny admission to applicants under certain circumstances in accordance with established standards, as described in this subpart. The provisions of this subpart do not constrain your authority to screen out applicants who you determined are unsuitable under your standards for admission.

(b) Terminating tenancy. You are authorized to terminate tenancy of tenants, in accordance with your leases and landlord-tenant law for the programs covered by this part. The provisions of this subpart implement statutory directives that either require or permit you to terminate tenancy under certain circumstances, as provided in 42 U.S.C. 1437f, 1437n, and 13662, in accordance with established standards, as described in this subpart. You retain authority to terminate tenancy on any basis that is otherwise authorized.

§ 5.852 What discretion do I have in screening and eviction actions?

(a) General. If the law and regulation permit you to take an action but do not require action to be taken, you may take or not take the action in accordance with your standards for admission and eviction. Consistent with the application of your admission and eviction standards, you may consider all of the circumstances relevant to a particular admission or eviction case, such as:

(1) The seriousness of the offending action;

(2) The effect on the community of denial or termination or the failure of the responsible entity to take such action;

(3) The extent of participation by the leaseholder in the offending action;

(4) The effect of denial of admission or termination of tenancy on household members not involved in the offending action;

(5) The demand for assisted housing by families who will adhere to lease responsibilities;

(6) The extent to which the leaseholder has shown personal responsibility and taken all reasonable steps to prevent or mitigate the offending action; and

(7) The effect of the responsible entity's action on the integrity of the program.

(b) Exclusion of culpable household member. You may require an applicant (or tenant) to exclude a household member in order to be admitted to the housing program (or continue to reside in the assisted unit), where that household member has participated in or been culpable for action or failure to act that warrants denial (or termination).

(c) Consideration of rehabilitation.

(1) In determining whether to deny admission or terminate tenancy for illegal use of drugs or alcohol abuse by a household member who is no longer engaged in such behavior, you may consider whether such household member is participating in or has successfully completed a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully (42 U.S.C. 13661). For this purpose, you may require the applicant or tenant to submit evidence of the household member's current participation in, or successful completion of, a supervised drug or alcohol rehabilitation program or evidence of otherwise having been rehabilitated successfully.

(2) If rehabilitation is not an element of the eligibility determination (see § 5.854(a)(1) for the case where it must be considered), you may choose not to consider whether the person has been rehabilitated.

(d) Length of period of mandatory prohibition on admission. If a statute requires that you prohibit admission of persons for a prescribed period of time after some disqualifying behavior or event, you may apply that prohibition for a longer period of time.

(e) Nondiscrimination limitation. Your admission and eviction actions must be consistent with fair housing and equal opportunity provisions of § 5.105.

§ 5.853 Definitions.

(a) Terms found elsewhere. The following terms are defined in subpart A of this part: 1937 Act, covered person, drug, drug-related criminal activity, federally assisted housing, guest, household, HUD, other person under the tenant's control, premises, public housing, public housing agency (PHA), Section 8, violent criminal activity.

(b) Additional terms used in this part are as follows.

Currently engaging in. With respect to behavior such as illegal use of a drug, other drug-related criminal activity, or other criminal activity, currently engaging in means that the individual has engaged in the behavior recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that the individual's behavior is current.

Owner. The owner of federally assisted housing.

Responsible entity. For the Section 8 project-based certificate or project-based voucher program (part 983 of this title) and the Section 8 moderate rehabilitation program (part 882 of this title), responsible entity means the PHA administering the program under an Annual Contributions Contract with HUD. For all other federally assisted housing, the responsible entity means the owner of the housing.

Denying Admissions
§ 5.854 When must I prohibit admission of individuals who have engaged in drug-related criminal activity?

(a) You must prohibit admission to your federally assisted housing of an applicant for three years from the date of eviction if any household member has been evicted from federally assisted housing for drug-related criminal activity. However, you may admit the household if:

(1) The evicted household member who engaged in drug-related criminal activity has successfully completed an approved supervised drug rehabilitation program; or

(2) The circumstances leading to the eviction no longer exist (for example, the criminal household member has died or is imprisoned).

(b) You must establish standards that prohibit admission of a household to federally assisted housing if:

(1) You determine that any household member is currently engaging in illegal use of a drug; or

(2) You determine that you have reasonable cause to believe that a household member's illegal use or a pattern of illegal use of a drug may interfere with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

§ 5.855 When am I specifically authorized to prohibit admission of individuals who have engaged in criminal activity?

(a) You may prohibit admission of a household to federally assisted housing under your standards if you determine that any household member is currently engaging in, or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the admission decision:

(1) Drug-related criminal activity;

(2) Violent criminal activity;

(3) Other criminal activity that would threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents; or

(4) Other criminal activity that would threaten the health or safety of the PHA or owner or any employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent of the PHA or owner who is involved in the housing operations.

(b) You may establish a period before the admission decision during which an applicant must not have engaged in the activities specified in paragraph (a) of this section (reasonable time).

(c) If you previously denied admission to an applicant because of a determination concerning a member of the household under paragraph (a) of this section, you may reconsider the applicant if you have sufficient evidence that the members of the household are not currently engaged in, and have not engaged in, such criminal activity during a reasonable period, determined by you, before the admission decision.

(1) You would have sufficient evidence if the household member submitted a certification that she or he is not currently engaged in and has not engaged in such criminal activity during the specified period and provided supporting information from such sources as a probation officer, a landlord, neighbors, social service agency workers and criminal records, which you verified. (See subpart J of this part for one method of checking criminal records.)

(2) For purposes of this section, a household member is currently engaged in the criminal activity if the person has engaged in the behavior recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that the behavior is current.

§ 5.856 When must I prohibit admission of sex offenders?

You must establish standards that prohibit admission to federally assisted housing if any member of the household is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a State sex offender registration program. In the screening of applicants, you must perform necessary criminal history background checks in the State where the housing is located and in other States where the household members are known to have resided. (See § 5.905.)

§ 5.857 When must I prohibit admission of alcohol abusers?

You must establish standards that prohibit admission to federally assisted housing if you determine you have reasonable cause to believe that a household member's abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol interferes with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

Terminating Tenancy
§ 5.858 What authority do I have to evict drug criminals?

The lease must provide that drug-related criminal activity engaged in on or near the premises by any tenant, household member, or guest, and any such activity engaged in on the premises by any other person under the tenant's control, is grounds for you to terminate tenancy. In addition, the lease must allow you to evict a family when you determine that a household member is illegally using a drug or when you determine that a pattern of illegal use of a drug interferes with the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

§ 5.859 When am I specifically authorized to evict other criminals?

(a) Threat to other residents. The lease must provide that the owner may terminate tenancy for any of the following types of criminal activity by a covered person:

(1) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents (including property management staff residing on the premises); or

(2) Any criminal activity that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of their residences by persons residing in the immediate vicinity of the premises.

(b) Fugitive felon or parole violator. The lease must provide that you may terminate the tenancy during the term of the lease if a tenant is:

(1) Fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime, or attempt to commit a crime, that is a felony under the laws of the place from which the individual flees, or that, in the case of the State of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor; or

(2) Violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under Federal or State law.

§ 5.860 When am I specifically authorized to evict alcohol abusers?

The lease must provide that you may terminate the tenancy if you determine that a household member's abuse or pattern of abuse of alcohol threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.

§ 5.861 What evidence of criminal activity must I have to evict?

You may terminate tenancy and evict the tenant through judicial action for criminal activity by a covered person in accordance with this subpart if you determine that the covered person has engaged in the criminal activity, regardless of whether the covered person has been arrested or convicted for such activity and without satisfying a criminal conviction standard of proof of the activity.