ASBURY PARK - The Asbury Park Housing Authority says it's enforcing a policy that bars people with criminal records from visiting any of the agency’s six properties.
With the help of the Asbury Park Police Department, the housing authority put together a list of everyone who is not welcome and sent them a letter. The letter states that the person is not permitted to be at any of the housing complexes due to their criminal past.
Asia Davis says her family and friends that live in public housing should be able to have any visitors they want.
“Say, if my uncle came home or something and he hadn’t seen me in years…he can’t even come see me because he’s banned because of his record,” she says.
The letter states that the goal of the policy is to “ensure that the Housing Authority maintains a drug free and crime free environment for its residents."
Davis says that she should have a say in who visits her.
"I pay rent here. I should be able to let whoever I want come visit me,” she says. “They shouldn't be put on a list that they can't come visit me because of their background. People change."
Acting Asbury Park Police Chief Tony Salerno says that the housing officials asked his department to increase patrols at public housing and provide names of those who committed crimes on their property.
Those who are on the list and wish to visit family or friends can appeal the ban.
Chief Salerno says “No trespassing" enforcement is being performed throughout the city. He says that the housing policy and increased police presence have already reduced crime.
"This policy is about trespassers, says Long Branch Housing Authority Director Tyrone Garrett. "People should not just be hanging around where they don't belong." Garrett says