Public housing eviction controversy in Jersey City

May 27, 2010 3:24:40 PM PDT
A mother and her two young children are facing eviction from their apartment in public housing in Jersey City.

The reason? Her brother was charged with a misdemeanor crime.

The move was planned for Thursday morning. The furniture was shrink-wrapped and clothes were in boxes and bags.

"The lockout has been stopped today," Denise Grant said.

An attorney filed a motion on her behalf to put the eviction on hold for now.

Grant is being evicted from her second floor apartment at the Booker T. Washington Public Housing Complex.

It all started in the courtyard in front of her building last year. She says there was a cookout gone wrong.

When police arrived, her brother and roommate was arrested in the confusion for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

"Everything was dismissed and stuff like that. He was given a fine, but I thought everything was over. So it caught me by surprise," Grant said.

What caught her by surprise is the eviction notice. The arrest was a violation of Federal and New Jersey Public Housing law.

The "One Strike and You're Out Policy" says if a member of a household or guest commit criminal acts, engage in violent behavior or are involved with illegal narcotics, the JCHA may seek the eviction of the entire household.

Grant said she seems to recall that policy when she signed the lease.

"I remember kind of, I can't say, but I know it doesn't apply," she said.

The Jersey City Housing Authority cannot comment on Grant's eviction. Officials say the policy is in place to protect all public housing residents.

Grant could still get evicted. She has a new date in housing court next week.