Some living in public housing not legal tenants

Posted at: 07/17/2014 10:12 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Public housing is generally intended to help low-income families get on their feet, using a safe and stable home as a foundation for building a new life. But some families say they end up in the middle of dangerous situations. Often, it's because of people breaking rules put in place to regulate public housing tenants.

In March, police shot and killed convicted felon Alfred Redwine at an Albuquerque Housing Authority complex. In that case, the AHA says they did not have his name on a lease so he was likely a guest of someone living there. If AHA learns that a convicted felon is living with someone who legally signed a lease, they ask the renter to make the guest leave; if they don't, that can be cause for conviction.

In July, New Mexico State Police served a felony warrant at an AHA unit. The incident led to a chase and shooting. In that case, the tenant did legally sign a lease, and AHA had no evidence of prior criminal history or violence, so the tenant wasn't breaking rules when she applied to live there.

Thursday, police went to serve a warrant in a public housing unit near Morris and Montgomery. Police say the suspect was living in the unit but it's unclear if he signed the lease.

Officials say the best way for tenants to make sure they aren't living near criminal activity is to report suspicious activity to authorities. If police find certain forms of criminal activity, housing authorities can evict tenants.