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HUD's FY 99 Budget
Congressional Justifications
Public and Indian Housing

Drug Elimination Grants For Low-Income Housing


NA = Not Applicable



The Budget requests $310 million for the Drug Elimination Grants (DEG) for Low-Income Housing program in fiscal year 1999. Included in this request is $243.8 million for PHA/IHA grants for their anti-drug, anti-crime efforts and clearinghouse information services,

$16.2 million for Federally assisted low-income housing grants, $20 million for Operation Safe Home, $20 million for the New Approach Anti-Drug program, and up to $10 million for technical assistance, which includes up to $250,000 for related travel.


Actual obligations in fiscal year 1997 were $22.2 million, of which $11.6 million was for Drug Elimination Grants for Public Housing, technical assistance/training, and clearinghouse activities. In addition, $10.6 million was obligated for Operation Safe Home. An unreserved balance of $272.3 million was carried forward into fiscal year 1998 and $200 million in grants has already been awarded out of the carryover.

Due to the expedited implementation of the grants program by Housing Authorities (HAs), the outlays for fiscal year 1997 were $80.6 million more than estimated in the fiscal year 1998 Budget.


The fiscal year 1998 Budget requested an appropriation of $290 million. The amount appropriated for 1998 was $310 million. Grant awards anticipated for 1997 will also be reflected in 1998.

Outlays in the 1998 Budget were projected at $347.3 million. The current outlay estimate of $288 million is $59.3 million less than previously estimated. The lower outlays is attributable, mainly, to increase disbursements from the expedited implementation in fiscal year 1997, and the reduced level of obligations experienced in 1997.


Drug Elimination Grants. In November 1997, the Department awarded $200 million of Drug Elimination grants to HAs to fight drug problems in their communities. The funded projects demonstrate a comprehensive approach to solving local drug problems of effective enforcement, prevention and treatment strategies. Activities include the employment of security personnel, reimbursement of local law enforcement agencies for additional security and protective services, enhanced security through physical improvements, drug prevention, and intervention and treatment programs. Between 1989-1997, HUD awarded 4,005 grants totaling approximately $1.3 billion to Public and Indian Housing Agencies nationwide. The Drug Elimination Grant Program has been effective in lowering drug and criminal activity in and near public and assisted housing developments. Examples of the programs accomplishments are as follows:

Providence, RI

  • Action: In 1997, the Providence Housing Authority received $671,000 in Public Housing Drug Elimination funds, as part of the Providence Housing Authorities Anti-crime Strategy. It has implemented a tough screening and evictions policy and operates the Strategies To Encourage Personal Success (STEPS) Program giving resident adults and youth opportunities for personal, educational, and community growth. The WISE-UP Program, Substance Abuse Prevention Education curriculum, Project PEER, and an after school community center program encourage youth to avoid drugs by keeping them engaged in constructive activities to redirect their energies in positive directions.

  • Results: These programs have been very effective in reducing crime. Police responses to public housing communities decreased 6 percent from fiscal year 1996 to fiscal year 1997. The housing authority has denied housing to 160 applicants with criminal records. The housing authority evicted 12 residents for drug-related criminal activity.

Tampa, FL

  • Action: In 1997, the Tampa Housing Authority (THA) received $1.3 million in Public Housing Drug Elimination Program funding. The Tampa Housing Authority operates a comprehensive early intervention program which focuses on school age children, and on forging a working partnership with the Tampa Police Department. Additionally, the THAenforces a strict screening of housing applicants, which includes a background check with the Police Department. If a guest abuses or sells drugs, the resident will be evicted.

  • Results: There are resident patrols to report crimes on all properties at three different shifts. Residents who join these patrols spend 6 weeks at the Police Academy. The Police Department reports that there has been a significant reduction in burglaries since the initiation of these patrols. In the Big Brother/Big Sister program, 65 matches were made this year. The THA evicted 48 people from public housing and denied admission to 67 because of drug and/or criminal-related activity.

Training/Technical Assistance (TA). During fiscal year 1997, up to $10 million in training and technical assistance funding was provided to both housing agencies and residents. Examples include:

-- Resident Patrol Technical Assistance and Training - Resident patrols comprise one of the most important elements of any comprehensive anti-drug, anti-crime strategy. The Department awards grants to provide technical assistance and training to public housing staff, residents and other community members to assist in establishing resident patrols in public housing developments. The Department intends to extend this activity in 1999.

-- Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Technical Assistance and Training - Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is the redesign of an environment to improve safety, decrease the fear of crime, and eliminate conditions which may contribute to crime. The Department awards grants to provide technical assistance and training on CPTED methodologies and organizes technical assistance and training conferences. The Department intends to extend this activity in 1999.

-- On-Site Assistance - HUD awarded a grant to provide an assessment of police and security services for public housing residents and to provide technical assistance. The four objectives were: (1) conduct an assessment of crime indicators and measurements that can be used by public housing authorities to benefit residents in public housing developments; (2) conduct an analysis of service delivery in public housing authorities, comparing those with housing authority police departments and those without housing authority police; (3) develop a document that can be used as the basis for a model contract by public housing authorities to assure coordinated law enforcement and security services for residents; and, (4) provide technical assistance to public housing authorities to assist in implementing recommendations to benefit residents and mediating relationships with local government officials.

-- Technical Assistance and Training for Public Housing Police - The Department and the Center for Public Safety, Inc. (CPS) have entered into a grant to improve public housing police services throughout the country. The purpose of the grant is to improve security services in public housing. These activities include: developing law enforcement service agreements with local law enforcement agencies in other communities; and providing law enforcement technical assistance to housing authority police departments.

"One Strike and You're Out." To meet the challenge of maintaining the Nation's public housing developments and to keep the families and children who live there safe, the Department implemented "One Strike and You're Out" in fiscal years, 1996 and 1997. As part of a comprehensive strategy to change the social dynamics in public housing, PHAs are encouraged to design policies on screening and eviction to eliminate individuals with records of illegal drug-related or criminal activity through the security indicator of the Public Housing Management Assessment Program. Many housing authorities are already effectively screening and evicting drug dealers and other criminals from public housing. Recent responses to a Departmental survey of housing authorities indicated that 75 percent of the responding housing authorities had implemented a "One Strike and You�re Out" program. The reporting HAs also indicated that there was a substantial increase in the number of drug and criminal-related evictions and admission denials following the implementation of a "One Strike" policy.


The Public Housing Drug Elimination Grants program has been authorized since 1988, providing funds to Public and Indian housing Authorities (HAs) for their anti-drug, anti-crime efforts. Often with a concentration of crime in and around public housing, staff and residents use these resources to increase police coverage and security as well as to provide alternative activities to residents. Eligible activities include reimbursing local law enforcement for additional services, security contracts, investigators, training residents for volunteer resident programs. Recent appropriations acts have expanded the definition of crime beyond drug-related crime, to include patrols, physical changes to enhance security, drug prevention, intervention and treatment crime, allowing HAs greater scope in targeting crime and developing successful alternatives.

In addition to these recent expansions, the Department�s proposed Public Housing Management Reform Act of 1997 would make a number of reforms in the Drug Elimination Grants program. Foremost among these is the conversion of the program from a competitive to a formula-allocated program. Formula allocation will reduce administrative burdens on PHA and HUD staff. The predictable funding will allow HAs to strategically plan the use of their anti-crime funds. In this manner, the Drug Elimination formula grants will empower communities to tailor HUD resources to their needs while operating at maximum administrative efficiency.

Of the $310 million requested in fiscal year 1999, $243.8 million will be targeted to grants for PHAs, Tribes, and Tribally Designated Housing Entities grants and clearinghouse information services. In addition, $30 million will be available to HUD for: (1) technical assistance, travel, training, information dissemination, and program expansion funds for further evaluation of Public Housing Drug Elimination Program assessment; and (2) Operation Safe Home. Also,

$16.2 million is estimated to be available for other Federally assisted low-income housing grants and $20 million will be available for the New Approach Anti-Drug program.

Historically, PHAs and IHAs have utilized various program funding sources to combat crime. Since 1990, the DEG program has been the primary funding source, focusing successfully on drug eradication. PHAs and IHAs have also used funding from the Modernization and Operating Subsidies programs towards anti-crime expenditures.

The DEG program: (1) is flexible enough to respond to the circumstances in each community; (2) provides a cost-effective funding option; and (3) sets standards for enforcement which establish, define and/or clarify the roles of local officials, enforcement personnel, housing authorities and residents.

A description of the fiscal year 1999 activities follows:

a. Drug Elimination Grants/Clearinghouse Services: $243.8 million

    Funds will be allocated competitively to local agencies where crime problems are most severe and who demonstrate that they have a long-term strategy to reduce crime. Based on past experience, PHAs have divided their funding among the following activities: Prevention (37 percent), Law Enforcement (33 percent), Security Guards (10 percent), Treatment and Other Costs (8 percent), Intervention (5 percent), Investigators (3 percent), Tenant Patrols (2 percent), and Physical Improvements (2 percent). For fiscal year 1999, it is anticipated that 67 percent of the funding awarded will be spent on Law Enforcement and Prevention activities.

    Awards will focus on the following activities:

    Enforcement Support will be expanded through the reimbursement of local law enforcement agencies, additional security and protective services. Contracts will be negotiated at the local level among city officials, police departments, housing authorities, security staff and residents for the provision of enforcement and security services. All enforcement/security personnel must meet minimum training, licensing and certification standards.

    Community Policing has been an effective tactic in gaining control in crime-ridden neighborhoods. The provision of police officers to specific neighborhoods on a consistent basis builds relationships with residents and fosters an information exchange, thereby contributing to a reduction in crime. Foot or bicycle patrols, police substations in public housing, community relations officers and other techniques which put the officer in more direct contact with the community have demonstrated results in reducing crime statistics.

    Crime Prevention efforts will include residents as the focal point of services and as participants in crime solutions. Activities may include resident patrols, neighborhood watches or other crime prevention efforts. Efforts will be made for the training and employment of residents in appropriate enforcement and prevention activities.

    Youth Initiatives will recognize youth as an essential resource in solving community problems. Their enlistment can, in itself, be good prevention programming. Youth can participate as coaches in recreational programs, peer mentors and leaders in community solution action planning. More emphasis will be placed on training, education, recreation, career planning, employment, substance abuse education and prevention. Youth programming should provide the opportunities, skills and information needed for youth to make appropriate life style choices and offer a deterrence to gang activity.

    Resident Services Programs provide comprehensive resident services to effectively intervene and prevent crime activities in public housing populations. Services may include job training, educational programs, treatment or other appropriate social services which address the contributing factors of crime.

    Clearinghouse Services provide information services to share and promote effective program implementation.

b. Other Program Initiatives: $10 million

    1. Assessment and Evaluation. After several years of program administration since the first and only assessment, the Department plans to work with a contractor to assess the effectiveness of the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program. In addition, a separate assessment is planned for the Drug Elimination Technical Assistance Program.

    2. Technical Assistance and Training. The role of HUD is to provide support which fosters creativity and reinforces success of the Drug Elimination Grants program. Support services will include technical assistance, and training. Also included is up to $250,000 for travel expenses of the HUD staff providing on-site technical assistance.

    Nine years of administering the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program (PHDEP) has allowed the Department to identify program elements which place both program administration and overall crime reduction goals at risk. The Department's goals are to develop training and technical assistance (TA) programs to reduce program risk, and increase overall grantee performance in their anti-drug, anti-crime efforts.

    In addition to program experience, the Department has also conferred with public and Indian housing staff and residents, and local community leaders in several technical assistance and training sessions. Between October 1996 and June 1997, the Office of Community Safety and Conservation has facilitated a series of "One Strike and You�re Out" training conferences. These conferences have provided the opportunity for extensive feedback from public housing and local communities on issues of drugs and crime in public housing.

    Funding for technical assistance and training in fiscal year 1999 will:

    • provide local communities with more useful tools for developing anti-drug, anti-crime partnerships and comprehensive strategies;

    • provide HUD and PHA staff and residents the necessary tools for developing anti-drug, anti-crime program measurements and to measure and report the outcomes of the program objectives in a valid and consistent manner;

    • develop tools, TA and training to assist PHAs in capturing information on Index Crimes as well as crimes that are not included in determining crime rates;

    • develop tools, TA and training to assist PHAs in using Crime Data, and comprehensive strategies to establish Service Level Objectives (SLOs) to reduce the incidence of crime, and increase police visibility within public and Indian housing properties;

    • ensure HUD participation in the dissemination of information on partnerships, comprehensive strategies, crime data, and other anti-drug, anti-crime issues; and

    • broaden the anticipated audience to include HUD staff, housing authority staff and residents, police chiefs, Federal law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, social service providers, local government officials, and private sector representatives.

c. Operation Safe Home: $20 million

Operation Safe Home is an effort to combat violent crime in public and assisted housing. The program is administered by the Department�s Office of the Inspector General. Operation Safe Home brings together a coalition of forces to combat criminal and gang activity in public housing. Residents, managers and various Federal and local law enforcement agencies work together to find, fight, and rid the community of crime. Before Operation Safe Home was started in early 1994, the lack of coordination among these groups undermined effective crime prevention.

d. New Approach Anti-Drug program: $20 million

The New Approach Anti-Drug program, initially funded by Congress in 1998, will provide the following: competitive grants to entities managing or operating public housing developments, federally assisted multifamily housing developments for low-income families supported by non-Federal governmental entities or similar housing developments supported by nonprofit private sources. The grants may be used to provide or augment security (including the cost of personnel), to assist in the investigation and/or prosecution of drug-related criminal activity in and around such developments, and to provide assistance for the development of capital improvements at such developments directly related to the security of such developments.


Currently, the Security Public Housing Management Assessment Plan (PHMAP) measure (#8) has a component (d) which measures the percentage of goals met under the implementation plan(s) for drug prevention or crime reduction programs. The Office of Public and Indian Housing believes that this PHMAP measure captures the performance of a housing authority�s drug/crime reduction activities, which is part of the overall PHMAP score for the housing authority.

A separate performance measure is being evaluated for the Drug Elimination program. The Department has entered into an Interagency Agreement with the Department of Justice for conducting a series of locally-initiated evaluations of the PHDEP and developing a reporting and information system for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the program.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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