THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
MEMO FROM PRESIDENT CLINTON TO HUD SECRETARY ON 'ONE STRIKE AND YOU'RE OUT' GUIDELINES
March 28, 1996
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
SUBJECT: One Strike and You're Out Guidelines
Since 1993, my Administration has undertaken comprehensive efforts to improve the safety and quality of life in our Nation's public housing. Operation Safe Home, the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program, and steps to keep out weapons have been important parts of this overall safety effort. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enabled cities to demolish dozens of blighted, high-rise projects and replace them with safer developments. The Department is also changing the social dynamic in public housing by instilling positive incentives for personal responsibility and family self-sufficiency. In all of these initiatives, HUD has worked closely with the Congress and with public housing managers and residents, elected officials, and Federal and local law enforcement agencies.
Today, the majority of the Nation's approximately 3,400 public housing authorities provide safe, attractive, quality homes. But there remains too much public housing in this country that is ravaged by drugs, crime, and violence.
It is imperative that we protect the ability of all individuals to live in safety and free from fear, intimidation, and abuse. It is also imperative that our precious public housing resources be made available only to responsible, law-abiding individuals. We must have zero tolerance for those who threaten the safety and well-being of decent families and innocent children who live in public housing.
That is why, in my State of the Union Address, I expressed my strong support for a clear and straightforward rule for those who endanger public housing communities by dealing drugs or engaging in other criminal activity: One Strike and You're Out of public housing.
At my request, HUD has now developed, in consultation with the Department of Justice, new national Guidelines on One Strike and You're Out. These new Guidelines set forth how each public housing authority should use applicant screening and tenant eviction procedures to keep out drug dealers and other criminals who threaten the safety and the well-being of residents. These Guidelines are meant to ensure that One Strike and You're Out is effective and that it is fair.
You have advised me that HUD intends to amend its public housing performance evaluation regulations so that the overall "grade" HUD gives annually to each local housing authority will be based, in part, on how effectively it has implemented the type of applicant screening and tenant eviction policies set forth in the new Guidelines. I understand that this "grade" can affect both the amount of Federal funding a public housing authority receives and the degree of Federal oversight to which a public housing authority will be subject.
I hereby direct you to disseminate these important new Guidelines on One Strike and You're Out to each of this Nation's public housing authorities. I also direct you to ensure that these Guidelines are made available to public housing residents, Federal and local law enforcement agencies, community leaders, and appropriate elected officials.
One Strike and You're Out is one component of comprehensive initiatives already underway to improve safety and quality of life in public housing. We will continue to work with the Congress, and with public housing authorities, residents, local officials, and law enforcement agencies, to rid our public housing of drugs, violence, and crime.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON