Eviction From Public Housing

Will an arrest or adjudication of a juvenile household member get a family evicted from public housing?


New Jersey has a statutorily enumerated list of ways by which a landlord may evict a tenant.  The list applies to both public and private housing.  If housing is under control of a public housing authority, and a household member has substantially breached any covenants or agreements in the lease related to illegal use of controlled substances or other illegal activities, the household may be evicted. The leases and convents must conform to all federal laws regarding public housing guidelines.

Under federal guidelines, households that include a juvenile who must register as a sex offender will be banned from public housing forever. Households which include a member who has been convicted, as an adult or juvenile, of manufacturing or otherwise producing methamphetamine on the premises of a federally assisted housing program will also be banned permanently from admission to public housing.

In addition, a household may also be banned from public housing if a housing provider determines that a member is currently engaged in the illegal use of a controlled substance or if the housing provider has a reasonable belief that a household member’s pattern of illegal drug use may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premise by other residents.  When considering whether to admit a household that was formerly rejected due to a member’s illegal drug usage, the housing provider may consider a member’s rehabilitation as evidenced by completing or participating in treatment.

A housing provider may exclude any household which includes a member currently engaging in, or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the admissions decision, any drug-related or violent criminal activity or other criminal activity which would adversely affect the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents, the owner, or public housing agency employees.

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