Can Tenancy Be Terminated If Drug-Related Criminal Activities Occur In Public Housing ?

In Department of Housing and Urban Development v. Rucker (535 U.S. 125, 122 S. Ct. 1230, 152 L. Ed. 2d 258 [2002]), a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality and enforceability of public housing lease provisions permitting tenancy termination when drug-related criminal activities occur in public housing. The Rucker Court held, at 127-128, "Petitioners say that this statute requires lease terms that allow a local public housing authority to evict a tenant when a member of the tenant's household or a guest engages in drug-related criminal activity, regardless of whether the tenant knew, or had reason to know, of that activity. Respondents say it does not." Moreover, "a tenant living in Federally subsidized housing is not permitted to continue occupancy if it is found that the tenant, or his or her household guest, has possessed illegal controlled substances either on or off the premises (see, 42 USC 1437d [l] [6]; 24 CFR 966.4 [f] [12] [i])." (Willock v. Schenectady Mun. Hous. Auth., 271 AD2d 818, 818-819, 706 N.Y.S.2d 503 [3d Dept 2000]).