Hawaii legislators pass conviction-eviction law for taxpayer subsidized public housing

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Hawaii has recently passed a law stating that taxpayers will no longer subsidize public housing for tenants convicted of certain felonies.

According to KHON, this law comes after the president of a public housing tenant association was convicted of stealing $1,400 from the association.

The president was reportedly evicted from the property, but the eviction was overturned by the Supreme Court who claimed “it was an improper eviction,” thus allowing the man to continue residency.

“There is not a taxpayer in the state of Hawaii, that would say ‘It’s okay if you live in public housing, to commit fraudulent crimes, to embezzle $1,400, to commit domestic violence, to commit drug offenses, or assault on other people.’ I think anybody that does break the law, especially if they’re in public housing, they need to be evicted. And this law does that,” Hawaii State Representative John Mizuno, who is one of the law’s authors, told the news outlet.

The new eviction-conviction law, which was passed into law in July, had been years in the making.  It states when a tenant commits a felony related to Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s property, employees or funds, the individual “abuses their privilege as a tenant of the HPHA.”

However, the HPHA says that innocent spouses and children of felons facing evictions can ask to stay in the housing unit. A three-member eviction board, including one member who is a public housing resident, will hold a hearing to deal with each unique circumstance.

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