ACLU Challenges Unlawful Housing Policy that Tears Families Apart

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On August 12, 2009 the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA), challenging a policy that bans certain individuals from being on or near public housing property, even to visit their families. Individuals who violate the ban are arrested and prosecuted for trespassing, and residents who allow banned family members into their homes are subject to eviction.

HACA falsely claims that every one of the more than 500 people on the list presents a danger to the community. In fact, many banned individuals were placed on the list based on incidents in which they were never convicted or even charged with a crime, and others based on minor offenses committed years ago.

The lawsuit is being brought by residents of Annapolis public housing and their banned family members because their families have been torn apart by the banning policy. Fathers and mothers are prevented from living with and raising their children; children and grandchildren are prevented from visiting and caring for their aging parents and grandparents; and families cannot gather together at holidays or to mourn the death of a family member.

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