In public housing, a small debt can get poor tenants evicted

Public_Housing-Eviction_31591 Kandise Norris, shown here with her three children in a Nov. 7 photo outside their home in Somerset County, Maryland, says she has been rebuilding her life since getting treatment for drug addiction in April 2019. The Housing Authority of Crisfield, Maryland, which owns her house, has filed three eviction cases against the 30-year-old since September.
Public_Housing-Eviction_39540 Kandise Norris, 30, lives in a home owned by the Housing Authority of Crisfield in Somerset County, Maryland. She said she has been rebuilding her life since getting treatment for drug addiction in April 2019. The housing authority has filed three cases to evict her and her children since September.
Public_Housing_Eviction_87482 Margaret Szabo, 42, sits with her two daughters on the porch of their home in Richmond, Va, on Nov. 6, 2020. The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which owns Szabo’s home, filed an eviction case​ ​against her for unpaid rent last fall. She said an aid organization paid the back rent, but she’s behind again in 2020.
Public_Housing_Eviction_91283 Tawna Thomas, 26, stands in front of her house owned by the Housing Authority of Crisfield in Somerset County, Md., on Nov. 7, 2020. Thomas said she has struggled to pay her $138 monthly rent during the pandemic and worries she might receive an eviction notice soon. ​
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CRISFIELD, Md. (AP) — Public-housing authorities are often the last refuge for poor renters. But a new investigation shows they are also some of the most aggressive eviction filers, threatening families over small debts or using eviction courts as collection agencies. The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland examined the records of authorities in Minneapolis; Oklahoma City; Charleston, South Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Crisfield, Maryland.

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