One Strike Eviction Rule To Be Enforced In Public Housing

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Clinton Thursday issued orders to Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros to enforce the "one strike, you're out" order which would evict drug users, dealers or other violent criminals out of public housing units after one conviction. Calling the measure "hardball", Clinton said conditions in public housing were a "national disgrace." The measure has been on the federal law books since 1988, but was not enforced by most housing authorities. Now, housing authorities will be graded on their compliance with the law, low scores resulting in lowered federal aid and increased supervision. "Clinton is seizing the crime issue," says TIME's Elaine Rivera. "He's attempting to show how tough he is on crime and heading the Republicans off." But in the often chaotic world of public housing, Rivera notes, the law may be extremely difficult to enforce.