Drug evictions create obstacles to housing homeless in WV

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Martinsburg was the first West Virginia city to pass a drug house ordinance, a law that penalizes landlords whose renters participate in drug dealing and other illegal activities, often resulting in the tenant’s eviction. Since then, nearly a dozen other cities in the state have enacted similar ordinances. (Christine Condon/University of Maryland via AP)

MARTINSBURG, WV (AP) — Trouble is brewing in West Virginia for a promising program moving homeless people into housing.

Martinsburg has passed a city ordinance allowing police to evict renters if they even suspect drug use.

The so-called “drug house ordinance″ was adopted by a dozen West Virginia towns.

Advocates say it conflicts with a proven strategy to get homeless people under a roof first, then treat their drug problems. 

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