The goal of the One Strike and You're Out Policy is to ensure the safety and well being of families who live in public housing. The "one strike" policy applies to residents of the VIHA. Individuals who engage in illegal drug use and/or other criminal activity shall be evicted from their dwelling unit after one (1) such offense.The VIHA is committed to the provisions of this policy and it shall be strictly enforced. By aggressively removing criminals from the Authority's public housing developments, the One Strike Policy:
- Free public housing residents from daily threats to their personal and family safety.
- Build public housing communities that are safer and drug-free.
- Create a positive environment for residents of all ages, where people can live, learn, and grow to be productive and responsible citizens.
- Set an example for greater community.
Guiding Principles of the One Strike Policy
The VIHA One Strike policy was developed based on the following principles:
- All individuals have the right to live in peace and be free from fear, intimidation, and abuse. The VIHA is committed to providing safe housing for all residents of Authority.
- Public and assisted housing should be awarded to responsible individuals. The VIHA shall give no preference to applicant families with a history of drug-related behavior and/or criminal activity.
- Applicants and current residents of public housing must be protected from discrimination and violation of their right to privacy. The VIHA shall comply with all civil rights, fair housing, and privacy laws, at the screening and eviction stages. The VIHA shall not discriminate against any application or residents based on race, color, nationality, religion, sex, familial status, disability, or membership in other groups or categories protected under such laws.
- Active community and governmental involvement in designing and implementing a One Strike policy is fundamental to its success. The VIHA shall works cooperatively with local government, law enforcement, residents, and the courts in enforcing the One Strike policy.
Non-Resident Criminal Activity
The VIHA is committed to protecting against criminal activities committed by non-residents and has adopted the following policy:
- The Authority shall post warnings in all VIHA public housing developments that violators shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent under law.
- In accordance with lease, residents shall be held responsible for guests and non-residents criminal behavior. Disruptive and/or criminal behavior of resident's guests may grounds for eviction of the entire household. VIHA will notify the local post office when the PHA evicts an individual or family activity to prevent the return to the development of the evicted person to obtain mail.
- In cases where the Authority and household settle an eviction case on the condition that the disruptive household member moves away from the Authority properties, the Authority/Resident agreement shall provide the following.
(ii) the household shall be subject to eviction if the individual returns to the VIHA properties.