Pubdate: Mon, 07 May 2001
Source: Fox News Network (US)
Show:  Hannity & Colmes
Copyright: 2001 Fox News Network, Inc.
Hosts: Alan Colmes, Sean Hannity
Guest: Laura Carey


HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES -- also coming up tonight:
Does your child's school allow their teachers to paddle and spank the

But first, behind the headlines for this Monday: zero tolerance the public
housing policy.  The one-strike policy lets public housing authorities deny
occupancy and evict residents on the basis of alcohol abuse and illegal
drug-related activities.  The zero tolerance policy began during the Clinton
administration, and according to the current secretary of housing and urban
development, Mel Martinez, will continue with the Bush administration.  Is the
policy working?

We're joined from Miami by Laura Carey.  She is the executive director
of the Broward County Coalition for the Homeless.

Laura, hello.  How are you?  Welcome aboard.


HANNITY: By the way, I don't agree with Bill Clinton very often.  I
think he...


CAREY: Right!

HANNITY: Alan's getting a kick out of this.

COLMES: Right.

HANNITY: I think Bill Clinton did the right thing here.  You know, you
look at public housing in America, it's been almost destroyed in many
instances because of drug use and drug abuse and because we didn't do
anything about it. It is the only thing that will work to protect the
overwhelming majority of good people that are there.  Agree or disagree?

CAREY: Well, I'm not sure about that.  I think that there's a lot of
problems with the one-strike-and-you're-out policy.  One of them is
that if somebody in the family is caught abusing alcohol or drugs, the
entire family can be evicted. Let's say you have a family with a mom,
a 17-year-old and a 2-year-old.  The 17-year-old smokes a joint,
something that 17- year-olds sometimes do, both in public housing
authorities and in other areas, and then you've got a 2-year-old on
the street.  And I'm charged with finding shelter for that 2-year-old.

HANNITY: Well, they could...

CAREY: And I'll tell you what.  I mean, I think there's a -- there's
some economic discrimination involved in that.  If -- if you, living
in your suburbs, your 17-year-old smokes a joint, you discipline them
and --

HANNITY: Well...

CAREY: ... and their 17-year-old smokes a joint, now they have to be

HANNITY: But there's a big -- but you know what, Laura?  If you're
you're going to live, I think we -- we have to get something in
return. And the number-one thing we got to get back in return is a
guarantee that you are not going to put the lives of the other
residents in jeopardy -- and that's what the drug trade is all about
- -- and that you're going to take advantage of this opportunity in the
hopes that one day you'll become

I fully support this policy.  It may be tough at times.  I agree with
you. There might be times, boy, it may be a little heart-wrenching.
But once word gets out that there is no tolerance on these matters,
those that want to stay are going to obey the rules.

CAREY: Well, I think this gets back to basically a housing issue. And
if you really want to look at housing issues, you know, one of the
things we see here in south Florida is that the average price of a
home is $359,000.  Most of our residents don't make that.  That's one
of the reasons we have a lot of people becoming homeless and one of
the reasons that there's a need for public housing.

HANNITY: But Laura, isn't...

CAREY: There's a huge need for...

HANNITY: You know, I got to stop you there because I disagree with
that.  I -- and I live here in New York, and I've interviewed homeless
advocates such as yourself over the years.  One of the top reasons
people If they have any control over themselves, those that decide to
use drugs, those that decide to abuse alcohol, oftentimes they --
those decisions result in the predicament of being homeless.  Am I

CAREY: I think poor decision making does result in homelessness a lot.
But I think there's a lot of other factors that contribute to
homelessness, like you live in New York City.  You know how expensive
it is to rent an apartment...

HANNITY: I agree.

CAREY: ... in New York City.  I mean...

HANNITY: But you know what?  There are -- there are plenty of
situations where you can find yourself.  You can live in one of the
outer boroughs.  You don't have to have the convenience of living in
Manhattan. I live an hour outside the city.  I choose to travel
because I can get a better deal on a house.  That's the bottom line.
So I travel each direction an hour each way. Alan chooses to live in
the city with all his


COLMES: How do you know it's not Staten Island?

HANNITY: No, I know.  But -- but it's a choice I make.  So people --
there are options for people that want them.  They can get apartments.
They can rent it with other people.  But if you work hard every day...

CAREY: Well, that's...

HANNITY: ... if you get up -- you can barely find a job less than $10
an hour in New York.

CAREY: Right, but that's not necessarily true.  If you're a single
mother with a family, which a lot of our homeless are families, it's
very difficult to make enough money to afford rent.

COLMES: Laura, this is a terrible policy.  It's outrageous.  And I
rarely disagree with Bill Clinton, but this is a horrible, heartless,
cruel policy. And when they tried this case in the 9th circuit court
in Oakland, California, as you probably know, they discovered people
like the woman living with a mentally disabled daughter and two
grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. And the daughter was found
with cocaine three blocks away. They want to evict everybody,
including her mentally retarded daughter. And a 75-year-old man who
had a caretaker who had a guest in his apartment, and they want to
evict the 75-year-old man.  That's the problem with this policy.

CAREY: Right.  Right.  It's criminal.  It's criminal.

COLMES: And they're -- go ahead.

CAREY: And it's also economic discrimination because you would never
do that to somebody who lived in the suburbs.  I mean...

COLMES: Exactly right.  Well, see, the theory is that they have is
that if you take government money, you somehow have fewer rights than
if you don't take taxpayer money or if you -- and that's a fundamental
difference, I think, between liberals and conservatives.  I, as a
liberal, don't believe your rights are abridged somehow because you
may need assistance or need a government net. And isn't that what the
real issue is here?

CAREY: Yeah, I think that is the real issue.  And I think that if some
of the conservatives looked at all the different ways that people do
benefit from tax dollars, a lot of us would have to, you know, meet
the same standards we're trying to impose on the poor.  Corporations
get more gifts from tax dollars than poor people.

COLMES: Now, here's something else going on with this administration.
patrols and pubic housing security.  This was a program started, as I
understand, under Jack Kemp, when he was head of HUD.  And they want
to do away with this to save money at a time when we have all these
surpluses, I away with security at these public housing projects is a
very good idea, do you?

CAREY: No.  I think...

COLMES: Are you familiar with...

CAREY: ... it's a terrible idea.

COLMES: You're familiar with what they're doing.

CAREY: I think these tax cuts, in general, are awful.  What we see,
you know, here in south Florida is that the gap between the poor and
the rich is widening. We have more homeless people here than ever
before.  We have double the homeless families we had 10 years ago.
All of our family units are full for homeless people.  And I think,
you know, in light of that, that it's criminal...

COLMES: Right.

CAREY: ... to be reducing social programs.

COLMES: And if they're going to take people and throw them out of
their homes because they happen to be drug users or abusers, rather
than getting treatment -- because those programs will be cut, as well
- -- you're creating an additional problem, putting them back on the
street.  They will need additional government services, which they may
or may not be able to get...

CAREY: That's right.  Right.

COLMES: ... and be much more of a blight on...

CAREY: It's going to cost the government more!

COLMES: ... society.

CAREY: It's going to cost the government more to go this route.  It's
not saving them.  It's not saving the community.  And it's certainly
not helping the people in these housing authorities.

COLMES: So it makes them sound really good when they say "We're not
going to give our hard-earned taxpayer dollars to help these people
who are on the government dole" -- when I say "dole," I don't mean a
former failed candidate. But when they say that, they-it makes a
great sound bite...

HANNITY: WE got to -- we got to...

COLMES: ... however, it doesn't solve the problem.  It only is going
to cost us more money in the long run.

HANNITY: Quick answer, Laura.


COLMES: We agree.

COLMES: I think we agree.

COLMES: Beautiful.

HANNITY: Coming up next -- thank you, Laura -- a police officer was
indicted today on negligent homicide charges in the slaying that
sparked days of violence.  Has justice been served?

And later: Buckle up or you could find yourself behind bars.  You'll
meet a soccer mom who found herself on the wrong side of the law a
little later in the show.  Straight ahead.

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