Kemp Proposal Eases Evictions Due to Drug Use

from Associated Press

Housing Secretary Jack Kemp said Sunday his department will make illegal drug use or sales a specific violation of public housing leases as a way to ease the eviction process for local authorities.

Kemp announced the step as he released a report describing actions public housing authorities around the country are already taking to solve drug-related problems.

In a statement, the secretary of housing and urban development said HUD would inform local housing authorities of ways they can use already appropriated federal funds to make physical and management improvements aimed at improving security against drug crimes.

He said HUD would publish a notice informing local housing authorities that leases must include explicit provisions that allow termination of the lease if any member of a household or person under the tenant’s control engages in drug-related criminal activity.


Would Shorten Process

Although evictions that are instigated because of drug-related activity are already possible, the process is often cumbersome because there is no direct provision in a lease relating to drug violations. Inclusion of such a clause would simplify and shorten the process--in much the same way it is easier to evict a tenant for failure to meet specific rent obligations spelled out in a lease than it is to evict an undesirable tenant on some more vague ground.

The HUD statement did not say whether a person had to be convicted of drug-related criminal activity before being evicted.