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Warren v Ypsilanti Housing Commission

#W00-45 | Location: Ypsilanti | Court Level: Federal | Settlement: $3,000, Policy changes

Categories: Rental, Sex
Tags: Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Eviction, Public Housing

Soon after Aaronica Warren contacted the police to report an incidence of domestic violence by her former boyfriend, the Ypsilanti Housing Commission sent her an eviction notice.  Focusing on a HUD one-strike policy, the Ypsilanti Housing Commission contended that Ms. Warren should be evicted because, according to her lease,  a tenant “will be responsible for the household regardless of whether or not he or she was personally engaged in the prohibited … criminal action on the premises.”

When Ms. Warren decided to pursue fair housing litigation, the FHC referred her to the ACLU of Michigan. ACLU Cooperating Attorneys Debra McColloch and Wiliam Thacker of Dykema Gossett filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court, alleging discrimination based on sex. The case was assigned to the Honorable Paul V. Gadola.

As a result of this case, the Ypsilanti Housing Commission no longer uses the “one strike” policy to evict women who have been victims of domestic violence. Aaaronica Warren accepted $3,000 and a change in policy to settler her claim against the Housing Commission.

“This is a significant event for survivors of domestic violence,” said Barbara Niess, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Project SAFE House. “The ‘one-strike’ policy punishes survivors for the criminal behavior of their abusive partners–which the survivor cannot control. The result can be that survivors who are being battered and abused will not call the police, for fear they will lose their home. We applaud Ms. Warren’s courage in challenging this policy, and we are grateful that the Housing Commission agreed to change it.”

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