Court to review HUD's drug eviction policy

August 18, 2000
A federal appeals court will reconsider its approval of the government's policy of evicting public housing tenants for drug use by any household member.
      The Department of Housing and Urban Development's so-called one-strike policy, in effect since 1991, applies to more than 3 million low-income tenants nationwide. It allows, but does not require, local housing authorities to evict families if a household member or guest isinvolved in illegal drug activity, on or off the premises and with or without the tenant's knowledge.
      A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 inFebruary to uphold the Oakland Housing Authority's power to evict four elderly tenants under the federal policy. But the full court announced Friday that a majority of its 24 participating judges had voted to withdraw the panel ruling and order a new hearing before an 11-judge panel.
      The hearing, not yet scheduled, will determine the legality of the policy in California and eight other Western states in the nation's largest federal appellate circuit.