Local News

Public Housing Tenants: We Are Paying With Our Freedom

Posted September 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The rules surrounding public housing in Fayetteville are getting tighter. So tight in fact, having a drink outside on the porch, deck or lawn could get a resident kicked out.

When Fayetteville police go into public housing with a search warrant and find drugs, the tenants can pack their bags. That fits likes a glove in President Clinton's new approach to public housing crime, "one strike and you're out."

The Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority is now holding meetings to explain the changes. The biggest one involves alcohol. You can no longer drink outside, not even on your own porch. If you do, you are evicted. Simple as that.

Some residents think the stiff penalties will help protect the area.

Some others think the new policy goes way too far and infringes on the residents' lives. Under the new policy, if residents wanted to have a cookout and drink beer, they would be evicted.

But supporters argue the children who live at Melvin Place have a right to live in a decent and safe environment, and they believe that's the right that really matters.

Under the new alcohol policy, a public housing tenant can be evicted even if a guest breaks the rule.