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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-484
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-06853:15 p.m. Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 13, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $311,783 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing and HUD-assisted housing in Gloucester and Lynn, MA. Grants totaling $50,000 will go to Gloucester and grants totaling $261,783 will go to Lynn.

Cuomo made the announcement in a telephone news conference with Congressman John Tierney, who represents the two cities, along with Lynn Mayor Patrick J. McManus and Gloucester Mayor Bruce Tobey.

The grants will be distributed to housing authorities and the owner of HUD-subsidized housing for low-income families.


"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Lynn and Gloucester and bad news for drug dealers who terrorize them," Cuomo said. "We will fight drug abuse with prevention and treatment programs and with a crackdown on drug dealers and other criminals. We are telling drug dealers in HUD housing to find another line of work or be sent to another type of subsidized housing - a prison cell."

Congressman Tierney said: "This is indeed welcome news. My thanks to Secretary Cuomo and this Administration for making this assistance available, and for exercising the good judgment to give these grants to people in Lynn and Gloucester, where this valuable aid will be put to good use."

Cuomo said the recent Congressional approval of the Department's $24.5 billion budget for the 1999 fiscal year, which he called "the best HUD budget in 10 years," will speed the transformation of public and assisted housing.

"HUD is transforming public housing from isolated ghettos of poverty, drugs, despair and crime into safe and economically integrated communities of opportunity," Cuomo said.

Nationwide, HUD is awarding $305.2 million in Drug Elimination Grants this year - more than in any previous year. The grants will be distributed in the next several weeks in this way: $280.6 million to 749 public housing authorities; $8 million to 39 Indian Tribes; and $16.6 million to 143 privately owned housing developments that receive HUD assistance.

Vice President Al Gore, Cuomo and Attorney General Janet Reno announced a four-part enforcement and prevention strategy to fight crime and drugs in public housing in June 1997. The grants announced today are one element of that strategy.

The Drug Elimination Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, based on the seriousness of the drug and crime problem facing a housing authority or assisted housing development, and the strength of local plans to address the problem. About 900 housing authorities, 60 Indian tribes and 500 privately owned housing developments applied for the grants being awarded this year.

HUD has awarded more than $1.6 billion in Drug Elimination Grants since 1989, including the grants being awarded this year.

In public housing, the Drug Elimination Grants are used for: drug prevention, intervention and treatment programs; reimbursing law enforcement agencies for providing additional security; hiring security guards and investigators; resident anti-crime patrols; and physical improvements to housing developments to enhance security - such as fencing, lighting and improved locks.

In assisted housing, the Drug Elimination Grants are used for: drug prevention and education programs; referrals to drug treatment and counseling; and physical improvements to developments to enhance security. Individual grants for assisted housing developments are limited to a maximum of $125,000.

HUD's budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 increases funding for HUD's key programs and renewals of Section 8 rental assistance by a total of more than $2 billion in the budget over 1998 levels. Spending was increased on most HUD programs and wasn't cut in any programs.

Legislation passed in the same bill as HUD's budget will:

  • Transform public housing by reducing segregation by race and income, encouraging and rewarding work, bringing more working families into public housing, and increasing the availability of subsidized housing for very poor families. In addition, the bill improves living conditions in public housing, gives the poorest families neighbors who will be role models of working families, and reduces crime. The bill also allows HUD to continue to tear down the largest failed public housing projects and replace them with new townhouse-style developments.

  • Expand the supply of affordable housing by enabling 90,000 more families to get Section 8 rental assistance vouchers that will subsidize their rents in privately owned apartments - the first increase in vouchers in four years.

  • Increase homeownership by raising the limit on home mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration from the current range of $86,317 in low-cost housing areas to $170,362 in high-cost areas. The bill increases the loan limits to a range of $109,032 in low-cost areas to $197,621 in high-cost areas. The higher ceiling on FHA-insured home mortgages opens the door of homeownership to thousands of families needing FHA insurance to get mortgages, but locked out now because the current loan limits have not kept pace with rising home prices.



  • $50,000 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Gloucester Housing Authority to fund the continued operation of the Common Ground Drop In Center, which provides a safe environment for creative thinking and activities, drug education, and individual academic tutoring. The Authority has been working to make public housing a drug-free community as well as a productive one. In addition, the Gloucester Housing Authority has provided services to residents that will give them more opportunity and a brighter future.


  • $136,800 in Drug Elimination Grants will go to the Lynn Housing Authority to develop a broad and inclusive program to proactively address the needs of its residents in relation to drugs and all its negative effects. The Lynn Housing Authority will build upon already existing programs by continuing a community policing presence and drug prevention programs. LHA will contract with local entities to provide education programs that will supplement its active Family Investment Center and give families real hope for the future.

  • A $124,983 Drug Elimination Grant will go to Cobbet Hill Associates of Lynn for Cobbet Hill Apartments. The grant will provide computer training for adult residents that need to re-enter the work force, drug abuse education and support services, English as a second language training, after-school tutorial programs, structured and supervised after school activities, an ethnic diversity program, more active resident counseling and field trips for young residents.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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