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HUD No. 98-485
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 13, 1998

CUOMO AWARDS $502,700 IN GRANTS TO FIGHT DRUGS AND CRIME IN PUBLIC HOUSING IN UTAH

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $502,700 in grants to fight drug abuse and other crimes in public housing in Utah. Utah's grants will be distributed to housing authorities in this way:

  • Salt Lake City........................$189,900
  • Salt Lake County...................$187,800
  • Provo....................................$125,000

"These grants are good news for some of the poorest families in Utah 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."

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 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.

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, and the strength of local plans to address the problem.

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.

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 vouchers 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.

ATTACHMENT

HUD ANTI-DRUG ASSISTANCE FOR COMMUNITIES IN UTAH

  • Salt Lake City: $189,900 in Drug Elimination Grants to the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City for programs to utilize its Family Investment Centers/SUCCESS, which are self-sufficiency programs, to expand services and leverage resources to reduce and eliminate drug-related crime in and around the city's public housing.

  • Salt Lake County: $187,800 in Drug Elimination Grants to the Housing Authority of Salt Lake County. Grant activities will include a community policing program, a youth recreation program, drug education, tenant association support and self-sufficiency programming.

  • Provo: $125,000 in Drug Elimination Grants to the Housing Authority of the City of Provo for programs to increase community policing in public housing areas. Criminal background checks will be conducted on all prospective housing applicants to screen out individuals who represent a potential threat to the community. In addition, the Housing Authority will be provided routine and timely police data to more effectively track drug activity in public housing.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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