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Bill Would Allow Public Housing to Exclude Drug Abusers

LEGISLATION allowing eviction of drug users from public housing for the elderly is awaiting President Clinton's signature.

The bill, approved by the House on Tuesday, would give public-housing administrators authority to deny admission to, or evict from, public housing people who use or have a history of abusing alcohol or illegal drugs, or who engage in criminal activity.

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''In his State of the Union address, the president said that he would like to see a one-strike-and-you-are-out policy against violent criminals in public housing,'' said Rep. Rick Lazio (R) of New York. ''This bill makes clear that we shouldn't have to wait until there's been an attack on a senior citizen or a defenseless family.''

The bill authorizes $50 million for self-help programs to build 50,000 new dwellings, with half that money set aside for Habitat for Humanity, the group led by ex-President Carter and supported by Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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