header-left
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 210089    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: IN COMMITTEE
File created: 2/4/2021 In control: Committee on Public Safety
On agenda: Final action: 2/4/2021
Title: Authorizing the City Council Committee on Public Safety to hold public hearings examining the feasibility of a multi-state reciprocity program for witness relocation using United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Public Housing Agency (PHA) properties.
Sponsors: Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Thomas
Attachments: 1. Signature21008900
Title
Authorizing the City Council Committee on Public Safety to hold public hearings examining the feasibility of a multi-state reciprocity program for witness relocation using United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Public Housing Agency (PHA) properties.

Body
WHEREAS, The Federal Witness Relocation Program is designed to provide protection to persons who are cooperating with law enforcement as witnesses to homicide and other felonious violent crimes. The program, administered by HUD, relocates witnesses and their families to available public housing units with the assistance of housing vouchers; and

WHEREAS, The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office (DAO) acts as liaison between PHA and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (OAG). PHA then relocates the witness upon verification of threats and intimidation, among other standards. A witness who is relocated is removed from the established "danger area" to a "safe area," ideally without loss of income or a lower standard of living. DAO creates a plan for relocation, including transport, school changes, and transfer of public assistance; and

WHEREAS, The DAO and Philadelphia Housing Authority already have a memorandum of understanding that the Philadelphia Housing Authority provide up to twenty-five (25) public housing opportunities to persons who witness homicides or other felonious violent crimes, and cooperate with the DAO in such criminal cases; and

WHEREAS, Pennsylvania OAG administers a $1.2 million witness relocation program funded by the Pennsylvania state budget. The Philadelphia DAO receives funding from the state program; and

WHEREAS, Philadelphia Housing Authority is the nation's fourth largest housing authority, owning and operating 13,400 public housing units. Comparable cities, such as Chicago and Baltimore, have more than 50,000 units and 7,500 units, respectively. There are approximately 1.2 million public housing units nationwide; and

WHEREAS, The 2...

Click here for full text