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Public Housing Tenants: We Are Paying With Our Freedom

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

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

The Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority is now holding meetingsto explain the changes. The biggest one involves alcohol. You can nolonger 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 theresidents' lives. Under the new policy, if residents wanted to have acookout and drink beer, they would be evicted.

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

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

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