Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Presses Housing Secretary About Marijuana Eviction Insurance policies

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pressed the pinnacle of the Division of Housing and City Improvement (HUD) about insurance policies that trigger public housing residents and their households to be evicted for committing low-level offenses equivalent to marijuana possession on Tuesday.

Throughout a listening to earlier than the Home Monetary Providers Committee, the congresswoman first quoted HUD Secretary Ben Carson from a 2017 speech the place he acknowledged that the battle on medicine has disproportionately impacted minority communities.

“Do you acknowledge that the battle on medicine disproportionately impacted black communities and communities of coloration regardless of marijuana and different drug use ranges being similar to white communities?” she requested the secretary for the file.

“Historically that has been the case,” Carson replied.

Ocasio-Cortez went on to say that she was involved that “the destructive affect of the battle on medicine has not been restricted to incarceration” and that “we had legislative rippling impact that additionally appears to have been codified in our housing system”

She pointed to 2 particular HUD insurance policies: the “one strike” rule, which permits property managers to evict individuals residing in federally assisted housing in the event that they interact in illicit drug use or different crimes, and the “no fault” rule, which stipulates that public housing residents will be evicted attributable to illicit drug use by different members of their family or visitors—even when the resident was unaware of the exercise.

Carson mentioned that property house owners in particular person jurisdictions have discretion relating to imposing the coverage, however he conceded that these guidelines are in impact beneath federal legislation.

“So an individual may very well be cease and frisked and be present in possession of a small quantity of marijuana after which be evicted or have their complete household evicted from public housing?” Ocasio-Cortez requested.

“That may be a chance,” Carson mentioned.

The congresswoman then requested if Carson was conscious of the “no fault” rule, to which he replied that the “use of such exercise is extraordinarily restricted, if ever used.” Ocasio-Cortez responded by stating that the insurance policies “are nonetheless codified in federal legislation” and requested whether or not the official helps “reversing a few of these provisions” such because the “no fault” rule.

Carson mentioned he was keen to speak about particular person circumstances, and the congresswoman adopted up by noting that there’s a scarcity of holistic evaluation for these circumstances. Given Carson’s curiosity in listening to particulars about particular person circumstances, she puzzled if he’d “help with the ability to transfer a few of these insurance policies to a extra holistic evaluation.”

“Ought to that case-by-case consideration be codified in federal legislation as a substitute of getting blanket, one-strike or no fault insurance policies?” she requested.

“I’m all the time in favor of extra flexibility,” he mentioned, signaling that he’d be open to reforming a number of the anti-drug insurance policies in impact federally at HUD.

Ought to Carson decline to take motion, laws launched by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) in April would defend public housing residents who use marijuana in compliance with state law from being evicted.

Ocasio-Cortez herself has filed a bill that might forestall public housing candidates from being denied attributable to a low-level drug conviction that resulted in a sentence of beneath ten years and prohibit drug testing of candidates “as a situation of such housing help,” amongst different reforms.

People Could Use Marijuana In Public Housing Under New Congressional Bill

Picture courtesy of C-SPAN.

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