HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A city ordinance regarding the landlord-tenant relationship within sober living homes that was put into place last year was revisited Monday night at a Huntington City Council meeting.
This decision comes after sober living home operators contacted city officials with requests to add needed exceptions to rules that are included in the latest eviction guidelines.
Back in 2022, the city of Huntington passed an ordinance that changed the relationship between sober living home operators and residents to that of a landlord and tenant.
This change includes an eviction notice and time to process for residents. The rules are if a person uses drugs or alcohol on the property, acts violently, or is involved in sexual misconduct the landlord can evict them.
This new ordinance, which was passed by a unanimous vote, says if someone is caught breaking any of these rules they can be “ejected” from the property.
However, the sober living home operator has to provide them with other housing accommodations, including finding them a place to stay for at least seven days.
If a resident’s home is 50 miles or further away from the facility, the operator has to pay for their transportation but only if the individual can verify that they have somewhere to go.
“If there is no one to accept the person if they can’t return to their family home, then the operator would then have the obligation to pay the cost of that person to stay in a hotel or any other type of property for at least seven days. They would not be ejected onto the street,” City Attorney Scott Damron says Monday night during the meeting.
Within 24 hours the operator will also be required to file a report with the mayor’s office including the time, reason for the ejection, and the accommodations that have been made.
The ordinance also adds a criminal penalty if they do not report an ejection. This includes either paying a fine of $500 or spending 30 days in jail.