Title

Treating Neighbors as Nuisances: Troubling Applications of Criminal Activity Nuisance Ordinances

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-24-2018

Publication Title

Et Cetera

Abstract

Thousands of cities nationwide enforce Criminal Activity Nuisance Ordinances that catalyze the eviction of tenants when there are two or more police visits to a property. We report findings of an empirical study of enforcement of nuisance ordinances, finding that cities often target survivors of domestic violence, people experiencing a mental health crisis, nonprofit organizations serving people with disabilities, people seeking life-saving medical intervention to prevent a fatal drug overdose, and non-criminal behavior such as playing basketball or being “disrespectful.” Codifying into public policy a path to homelessness in these instances is not only cruel and counterproductive, but likely violates the Fair Housing Act and the Constitution.

Volume

66

Issue

3

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