Two stories in the news this week show us what can go wrong when rules are not properly enforced… and when they are.

As we’ve discussed on the blog, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 provides important protections for tenants- as long as tenants know the law and are able to do what needs to be done for it to be enforced. In North Carolina, the Fulghum family didn’t understand their rights, and health problems and eviction followed.

HUD recently issued a letter encouraging public housing agencies (PHAs) to allow ex-offenders to re-enter public housing under certain circumstances, to allow families to be reunited and to help lower rates of recidivism. PHAs have a great deal of discretion as to how they design policies when it comes to criminal behavior. In Chicago, the housing authority’s one-strike policy against drug possession extends even to those who were charged, but never convicted, of drug crimes.